By DAPO OLAWUNI
Citing the long holidays coming up nationwide starting by next week Monday, freight forwarders at Nigerian ports have put on hold their planned strike action which was supposed to commence at the port today Monday 25th April 2022.
Next week Monday through Wednesday marks the Labour day and the Sallah Celeberations.
In a notice widely circulated among freight forwarders on Friday, the freight forwarders explained that the strike action was against the introduction of 15% National Automotive Council (NAC) levy imposed on imported vehicles by the Nigeria Customs Service, as well as PAAR Benchmarks.
Speaking exclusively with DAILY TREND on need to shelve the strike action, Taskforce chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port, Alhaji Rilwan Amuni said that many of the freight forwarders who are battle ready, are not happy that the strike action was suspended.
He however said due to the upcoming long holidays, there have been appeals to allow members clear the backlog of cargoes trapped at the ports before the commencement of the holidays.
“We decided to hold on to the strike action because of the burden on our members, we found out that this is the only week that we have before the Sallah and May Day break, we don’t want much burden for our members, we want them to at least have a feel of the long holidays that is coming, and we want them to go about their jobs and bring out the backlog of cargoes at the ports for this week, until after the holidays.
“However, the Ministry of Finance has been evasive, if not for the long holidays ahead, our strike action would have held
“When we got to Customs, they said said they are handicapped and that the 15% NAC Levy is from Ministry of Finance, when we got to Finance ministry, they are trying to be evasive by promising they would get back to us, the Minister is not around
“Since April 9th, our people have been paying, and many of big vehicles are trapped inside the port, I believe that this week, they would not even bother to listen to us”
While reacting to reports in the media by leadership of ANLCA, specifically the Vice President, Dr Kayode Farinto that the port is not going on strike and that those proposing the strike are faceless, Alhaji Amuni stated that Dr Farinto and his group are no longer representing the interest of the totality of ANLCA members.
According to him, the National Executive Committee (NECOM) tenure has expired and the BOT are the ones running affairs of the association.
“The freight forwarders at the port knows those who are working for them, they are not even happy that this strike action is being postponed.
“The other people that are talking on the media, let them come out and organise a strike and see if it would hold, all what we are doing is what they are leveraging on
“If we are truly fighting the same course, i see no reason why we should be politicising these issues, if we continue to wait for dialogue with the ministry of finance, I can assure you that we would wait till thy kingdom come” he said