Importers who expected to clear imported cargoes at Nigeria’s largest container port terminal, APM Terminals, were disappointed on Wednesday when protesting dockworkers from the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) shut down container terminals at the port of Lagos, crippling port operations at Nigeria’s premier port. , Port of Apapa. This is even when the efforts of the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) to salvage the situation have refused to yield results at the time of the filing of this report.

Talk to Online forum On the ongoing strike, the Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Officers (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto explained that even though APM Terminals, at the end of the strike, can waive storage fees accrued due to strike, shipping companies will not waive accrued demurrage charges.

According to the acting president of the ANLCA, “It’s a pity that we had to come to this situation. There have been efforts to get APM Terminals to accede to worker demand lately, but not all have been successful.

“Now throughout the day, no containers have been moved out of APM terminals. First, storage and demurrage charges are piling up on these booby-trapped cargoes.

“Second, the refusal of workers to work will only aggravate the congestion problems plaguing the ports of Apapa.

“Third, importers will ultimately pay for these accrued charges. Although APM Terminals waives storage fees, foreign shipping companies will not. They will collect every last penny before releasing these trapped shipments.

“So you see importers are always the recipients of any disruption to port operations. Many importers have called us to find out how much they might have to add to their invoices for charges that have accrued through no fault of their own. It’s such a pathetic situation.

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Recall that when Nigerian Tribune arrived at the port gate earlier on Wednesday, journalists were not allowed to enter Apapa Port by security guards due to the strike taking place inside the APM terminals.

However, when our correspondent telephoned the General Chairman of the MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, he said that if the management of APM Terminals refuses to meet the workers and find a solution to their demands, the closure of the port will continue.

Speaking exclusively to Tribune Online, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said, “Our members have shut down APM Terminals, Apapa. All examination desks inside the container terminal which are used by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officials are currently under lock and key to our members.

“The unrest is linked to the refusal of APM Terminals, management of Apapa, to review the workers’ collective agreement (CCT) which should be reviewed every year.

“It is an internal agreement between the workers and the terminal operator, but the terminal operator has refused to review the terms of service of the workers this year and that is why everywhere inside APM Terminals is currently under lock and key.

“The management of APM Terminals has decided to be humorous by not reviewing the state of service of the workers. I will even speak very soon to the workers. If APM Terminals refuses to meet with us, then the shutdown of port operations at APM Terminals, Apapa will continue.

Confirming the lockdown of customs officers working inside APM terminals in Apapa to Tribune Online, NCS Apapa Customs Command spokesman Abubakar Usman explained that customs officers are currently on inside ports but cannot access their exam desks because workers have locked them. at the top.

In the words of Abubakar Usman, “Our officials are inside the ports. They weren’t locked out of ports. However, their offices were closed by protesting workers. If the agents cannot access their offices, they cannot perform any customs clearance work inside the port. Our men are here but not currently working due to protesting workers who have closed all cargo examination offices inside APM terminals, Apapa.

Other findings also revealed that the NPA and NSC have begun to pressure APM Terminals management, Apapa to find a lasting solution to the breakdown in port operations.

Disclose this to Jribbon On linea port employee who did not want his name printed explained: “Since the morning, no work has been done inside the APM terminals, in Apapa.

“We heard that the NPA and NSC called the terminal operator about this. I don’t know if anything has been resolved.

Recall that the MWUN had recently issued a warning to APM Terminals regarding the refusal of the terminal operator to review the conditions of service of port workers.

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