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CLEARING AGENTS BEGIN STRIKE MAY 26

By NBF News

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said it will withdraw its services from Lagos ports and border stations on May 26. The ANCLA President, Mr Olayiwola Shittu, said in Lagos that the aim was to address the impediments to trade facilitation at the ports.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Shittu said that efforts to make the service providers, shipping companies and the terminal operators see reasons had yielded no positive result. He said there had been indiscriminate increase in cargo handling charges, inadequate and obsolete equipment by terminal operators and delays of two to three weeks in positioning containers for examination.

The ANLCA president, however, said the action (withdrawal of services) would be limited to the APM Terminals in Lagos, the biggest container terminal in the country.

Shittu said unless the Federal Government took decisive action on the issues raised, the strike would spread to other parts of the country. He said letters had been sent to the federal ministries of Transport and Finance, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) notifying them of the impending strike.

He said the strike could only be averted if all containers meant for examination were moved to off-dock or bonded terminals to avoid congestion at the APM terminals.

Shittu alleged that Customs contributed to delay in cargo clearance as a result of 100 per cent physical examination of nearly 85 per cent of all imports. He said that government should guarantee that clearing agents would no more pay for services not rendered by the terminal operators.