…Allegation Ridiculous, Says Management
Port users at the Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) a Roll on- Roll Off vehicle terminal at Tin Can Island Port has accused the terminal operator workers of allegedly causing a clog in the wheel of trade facilitation and demanding bribe before transferring of vehicles.
One of the stakeholders, Mr Ugochukwu Nnadi in a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS alleged that the labour workers inside the terminal are now racketeering the process of transferring vehicles from the shipside into the various sheds and terminal inside the facility.
While lamenting the operational challenges encountered at the terminal, he alleged that any freight forwarder that refuses to give bribe to the labour, such a vehicle could remain at the shipside until other vessels arrives and their contents would even be moved out.
According to him “Grimaldi is a terminal that I have been very proud of, but unfortunately, for them to take consignment to the terminals, it takes a lot of time”
“This is because the labour that supposed to handle it have now turned this into their own business, if you don’t give them money, they cannot take your vehicle to the terminals”
“I want to advise Grimaldi, let them make sure that any vessel that berths and discharged, if all the vehicles from that vessel are not sent to the terminal, any other vessel that comes in, none of its vehicle content should be sent to the terminal”
“Sometimes you would see that a vessel has berthed and discharged, and for over two weeks, the vehicles that came in that vessel are still lying inside the terminal. But when you see another vessel coming in, because the owners have paid money, the vehicles would be taken to the terminal where the owners will take delivery”
“When you write your TDO and you are ready to leave the terminal, there is what they call ‘express’ if you don’t do it, you are on your own, you can spend the whole day waiting for them to bring out your vehicle”
“This act is being perpetuated by the labour that are employed by the terminal” Nnadi alleged
Nnadi was a formal Chairman of PTML Chapter of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF)
In a swift response to inquiries by our correspondent, General Manager of PTML Terminal, Mr Tunde Keshinro has described the allegations by the freight forwarders as ridiculous.
Keshinro said that customers at the terminal do not have direct links with its drivers or even any of its operational staff.
He said that any operator making such claims and allegation of bribery from its drivers and dockworkers should come forward with an evidence or better still provide information about the affected vehicle.
He argued that operational wise, it is not even in the best interest of the terminal to leave vehicles at the shipside until another vessel arrives.
Keshinro described the claim as a very ridiculous claim.
“The terminal arrangement is such that customers have no direct interaction with drivers or even operation staff. Customer enquiries and complaints are channeled through the Customer Care desk and they do not know the field staff”
“I expect anybody raising this allegation to back it up with specific Bill of lading or vehicle chassis number so that we can verify the allegation”
“We can think this out, is it operationally feasible to leave discharged vehicles at the ship side for the next vessel? and how does the terminal handle other cargoes discharged in the terminal?
“In effect, the allegation is wrong information. You can ask such freight forwarder to back up the allegation” he said