Clearing agents, truck owners suspend strike, issue fresh 21-day ultimatum
After withdrawing their services for three days, clearing agents operating at the nation’s seaports and border posts yesterday suspended their strike but issued a fresh 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to resolve all issues in contention.
The agents comprising the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and Amalgamation of Maritime Transport Owners (AMARTO) announced the suspension after a meeting in Lagos yesterday.
They noted that the protest was necessary for the Federal Government to address the challenges mitigating against ease clearance of cargo necessitated by dilapidated access roads and rusty infrastructure at the ports.
The group said the suspension was in deference to pleas by the government and other well-meaning Nigerians to address all the issues, which necessitated the withdrawal of their services.
The clearing agents have however issued another 21-day ultimatum for government to meet their demands or face another round of struggles at the ports.The groups had earlier insisted that they would not relent until there was visible evidence that the government has provided palliatives to the fix the bad roads by mobilising equipment to site.
They also demanded that the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) should address all issues militating against cargo clearance including multiplicity of customs formations such as the Comptroller of Compliance Team, Federal Operations Unit (FOU).
Part of their demands also include that the Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) should also address stakeholders on the challenges they face in the course of clearing regulated items at the ports.
While hoping that government would act accordingly, the groups, however, appreciated the efforts of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman and Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello in repositioning the logistics supply chain.