….Clearing Agents Kick, ANLCA National Secretary Escapes Attack
By DAPO OLAWUNI
There is palpable tension at the Lagos airport over plans by Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) to increase cargo handling tariffs payable by all clearing agents and freight forwarders nationwide, allegedly by 300%.
Sources at the airport confirmed to DAILY TREND that the National Secretary of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila escaped physical attack in the hands of some aggrieved freight forwarders who do not support the tariff increment.
NAHCO Aviance had in March 2023 unveiled a revised cargo tariff, set to become effective from April 1st, 2023.
Under the new tariff, freight forwarders and clearing agents at airports nationwide are to pay more for the cargo handling tariff rate, as well as clearing of inbound and outbound cargoes.
While confirming the incident to DAILY TREND, the ANLCA National Secretary, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila said ANLCA have not agreed to any increment by NAHCO and SAHCOL.
He said that ANLCA’s position is that there cannot be any increment at the airport because the aviation companies, NAHCO and SAHCOL lack equipment, and there is need to increase their manpower and equipment.
According to him, some boys attempted an attack on him at the airport on Wednesday, when he led a team to the airport to inspect equipment which the aviation companies claimed to have provided.
He however said the attack could not succeed.
“Our chapter executives claimed that NAHCO does not have adequate equipment, but NAHCO claimed that the association was blackmailing them. In order to break this deadlock, we decided to ask NAHCO to present their equipment for inspection so that we can visit.
“On our arrival, the first point of call was the waiting room that they claimed to have provided for clearing agents, we discovered there was nothing like waiting room, where they are calling their waiting room was actually a documentation room
“As we were about moving to the next place where they claimed to have provided ten toilets, and which the clearing agents claimed was false, we suddenly saw some boys who said we cannot continue with the inspection, so we had to leave the place”
The ANLCA National Secretary said it’s chapter had reported back that SAHCOL added twenty handling equipment, while NAHCO claimed the agents were blackmailing them and that they equally have the required equipment
Meanwhile, sources at the airport on Tuesday had given our correspondent a contrary report, alleging that the MMIA Chapter executives of ANLCA have compromised with the NAHCO and SAHCOL on the increment, even at the detriment of majority of the practitioners.
According to them, stakeholders refused the tariff increment because both NAHCO and SAHCOL did not provide enough equipment as required to operate custom warehouses.
The practitioners also argued that importation has dropped drastically due to foreign exchange disparities.
They argued that cargoes are not coming in as expected, and that if such increment was allowed to stand, it is going to add another problems to the economy.