APFFLON Rejects Shippers Council’s New Haulage Rates for Eastern Ports, Says 140% Increase Not Acceptable

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National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite (left) and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Pius Ukeyima Akutah

By DAPO OLAWUNI

As part of its advocacy for best practices in the freight forwarding profession, the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria- (APFFLON) has announced its rejection of the new haulage rate from Eastern Seaports to various destinations across the country approved by Nigerian Shipper’s Council.

It a press statement issued by the National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite on Sunday, a copy of which was sent to DAILY TREND, the negotiated and reviewed haulage rates which have been approved by the Nigerian Shipper’s Council do not reflect the current realities.

“The negotiations which they said were harmonious and that the rates agreed upon were acceptable by all parties, including freight forwarders and truck owners was a farce as some of those who appended their signatures were coerced to do so.

“We wish to state here that the new haulage rates are outrageous and a clear reflection of gross insensitivity on the parts of those who sat at the negotiation table not excluding the Nigerian Shipper’s Council as an agency of the Federal Government.

“APFFLON hereby wish to express its dissatisfaction with the new rates and urge the Nigerian Shipper’s Council to quickly make a downward review of the rates which do not reflect the present economic reality. We strongly believe that the Shipper’s Council Boss was mislead into giving his approval to the rates.

“We wish to state that the new rate will emasculate businesses at this particular time, therefore, we urge Nigerian Shipper’s Council to quickly carry out a downward review of the charges as they do not represent the interest of the generality of the people and neither reflect the current economic reality.

“APFFLON hereby wish to caution the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Shipper’s Council on leaving bad legacies at the Agency and also advise him to trade carefully in taking certain decisions in order not to mare his reputation. We call on the CEO to go round and feel the pulse of the people before giving his approval to certain proposals.

“We hereby state that the new haulage rates are unrealistic as some of them have additional 140% increase when compared with the old rates. The Chief Executive Officer must not allow people who do not mean well for the maritime industry to ruin his reputation” the statement read.

APFFLON also urged the Federal Government to always implement policies with human face, especially at a time when a lot of Nigerians are struggling to feed.

“The biting economic situation must be considered in whatever decision they are taking, people are struggling to feed, there is hardly a family that can boast of affording three square meal a day. Generally, times are hard, so coming up with new rates that are 140% higher is a reflection of gross insensitivity on the parts of those who sat at the negotiation table and the Nigerian Shipper’s Council that approved such rates, and APFFLON is never a party to such anti people policy that will not facilitate trade as it is also not in line with the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business.

“On the demand for improved Maritime Workers welfare, APFFLON is appealing to the Federal Government to look into the matter as the present economic reality calls for upward review of salaries and emoluments of Nigerian workers in all sectors of the economy.

“The current inflation is something to worry about. Workers are going through hell as their monthly earnings can not even put quality food on their table not to talk of other primary needs” it stated.

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