…Cargoes Trapped, Freight Forwarders Kick
By DAPO OLAWUNI
There is pandemonium at the Tin Can Island Port of Lagos over President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit, even as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Monday places the port on total shutdown and unaccessible for port users.
Scores of freight forwarders who had earlier gained access into the port on Monday also confirmed to DAILY TREND that they were being chased with attack dogs by the Nigerian Police.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit the MRS Tank Farm close to PTML Terminal on Tuesday to commission a Lubricant factory.
Sources also confirmed to our correspondent that the President would be assessing the tank farm by helicopter.
Meanwhile, freight forwarders have lamented the huge losses which the president’s visit would cost the nation’s for two days, as one of the busiest port in Africa; Tin Can Island Port would remain shutdown.
Speaking with our correspondent, National Public Relations Officer of Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) Taiwo Fatomilola lamented that huge losses are being incurred on the trapped cargoes at the port.
“I have never seen it in any part of the world that if the President is coming, the only option is for them to close down the port, there is nobody making use of Tin Can Island Port and Grimaldi today as we speak, nobody can access these ports, everybody is stopped at the gate
“We were trying to access the port, after showing our identification cards, they came around with Police and dogs, they were chasing people with their dogs to bite, everybody were running for their dear lives.
“With the challenges we are witnessing at the port, this is best time for the President to see us and feel our pulse, we are the ones that voted him into that position.
I have never seen a place whereby the port is grounded because President is coming for two days
“They have paralyzed the finance of the port for these two days.
The vehicles and trucks that have been loaded that are supposed to leave the port since Saturday cannot leave the port”
Also reacting to the shutdown, Alhaji Rilwan Amuni, Taskforce Chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Port condemned the action, saying that there was no prior notice or sensitization for the port users.
On his part, Mr Charles Uba lamented that freight forwarders are stranded inside the port unable to take delivery of their cargoes. According to him, all the articulated trucks on the port access have been removed because of the President’s visit, he described the situation as a deceit of the highest order, and an “eye-service” on the part of the NPA.