By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reportedly directed that freight forwarders should continue going about their normal business activities, saying that they are part of the essential services ealier listed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his nationwide broadcast of Sunday night.
National President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Hon Tony Nwabunike confirmed the NPA’s directive in a message sent to his members on Monday.
He said the association, apparently worried and not clear about the president’s earlier directive and how it affects its members operations has been in consultation with NPA.
Nwabunike said “The NPA has confirmed that our operation and activities is among essential services in Lagos ports”
“As you are aware before now, Comptroller General of Customs has directed full customs personnel presence. Implication is that necessary formalities for processing and clearance of cargoes from customs ports are unhindered”
“It is imperative to reiterate and advise, once again, that only customs brokers, freight forwarders and haulage operators who have jobs on the ground that should approach the ports this period of restriction”
“Any of these port operators visiting the ports should have their company identity cards and NPA port pass”
“I wish to also advise truck operators to adhere to the existing orderly call up system”
“Don’t forget to abide by all health advise as postulated by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) including washing of hands, usage of gloves, application of hand sanitisers and maintaining social distancing this period and beyond” Nwabunike stated.
DAILY TREND NEWS recalls however that the NPA had at the weekend directed all terminal operators to suspend all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments from an initial period of twenty-one days effective March 23, 2020.
In a press statement issued on Friday by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, Eng Adams Jatto, the authority said that the gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposes on businesses.
“The Authority recognises the financial implications of these policies on the terminal operators and will consider a shift in our operational charges to ameliorate the situation of stakeholders” he said