Freight forwarders promise to revive moribund Lillypond Terminal
…Charge ANLCA, NAGAFF to eschew violence
The International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA), has vowed to deploy strategic mechanisms to ensure that activities boomed again at the Lillypond Container Terminal Limited.
The IFFA also inaugurated another chapter at the Ijora area of Apapa, Lagos State, also charged sister associations including the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).
It charged them to eschew violence and avoidable confrontations with the Federal Government by threatening to shut down the ports, but should rather embrace peace and constructive argument.
The Forwarders’ President, Dr. Sam Onyemelukwe, who inaugurated the Ijora Chapter, noted that his group comprised professionals committed to the advancement of their business interests as well as to stimulate growth and development in the freight forwarding sector, while also supporting government’s efforts in growing the economy through the seaports.
In the face of prevailing economic instability, the group promised to collaborate with other port stakeholders to make maritime and freight the number one revenue earner of the Federal Government.
He enjoined members of the association nationwide to disregard any directive on industrial action and withdrawal of services declared last week by ANLCA and NAGAFF. Both groups had given the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum to look into cases of corruption and extortion of their members inside the port.
“We must move away from the old, primordial tendencies of militancy evident in issuing unnecessary ultimatums, withdrawal of services, closing down of the ports, strikes, violent protests and their likes. Problems are better solved through continuous engagements and interfacing among stakeholders by effective dialogue to articulate plans and measures that will engender progress,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, Chairman of the Ijora-Lillypond Chapter of IFFA, Chief Lawrence Ubah, noted that the moribund condition of the Lillypond Container Terminal is worrisome to major stakeholders, hence the establishment of the IFFA at Ijora.
According to him, all the known, and existing associations that had all it takes to bring back the glory of Lillypond Terminal, and its Customs Tin Can Island 2 Command, had failed to do so.
He assured the Tin Can 2 Customs Comptroller, Mahmud Dalhat, that the coming of the association would bring a turnaround in his Command, and increase its revenue generation.
Ubah also assured the terminal operators and other government agencies at Lillypond that the association is set to bring about the needed connections and contacts to revive the terminal.
“IFFA is the only association for now that has all it takes to bring back the glory of Lillypond Command. This is evident and can be attested to by the crème of personalities and groups of people who are members of IFFA”
“The IFFA executives inaugurated today have come on a rescue mission, we have come to fulfill the mission of freight forwarders in Ijora, we are here as the last hope of the common agents and young freight forwarders,” he said.
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