Access card: Agents threaten to shut down seaport terminal

Agents under the aegis of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has threatened a break down of law and order at the Ports & Terminal Multi-services Ltd (PTML), the port operating arm of Grimaldi Shipping Line over the issuance of Access cards to agents who desire to gain entry into the port facility.

According to a statement signed on Wednesday by NAGAFF Legal Adviser, Mr. Fred Akokhia Esq. and addressed to the Managing Director of PTML, the agents frowned at the idea of PTML attaching the issuance of access cards to the ownership of a Customs licence.

In the words of the agents, “Our members who are bona fide members of the Council for the

Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and by extension duly registered to carry out their businesses in any seaport, airport or land border in Nigeria have come to the headquarters of NAGAFF to intimate us of the new onerous conditions you recently introduced at your terminal which makes it mandatory for Customs licensed companies to present seven representatives with a payment of N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira Only) per person in order to be allowed into the terminal.

“We do not have issues with your policy on the issue of Access Cards to those who want to do business in your terminal.  What we have our problem with is the idea of attaching the issuance of these access cards to the ownership of a Customs licence.  We say categorically that this is not acceptable in law, and in fact, a freight forwarder whose business cuts across Customs formalities does not need a Customs licence to carry out his/her business.

“Those who own Customs licences are first and foremost freight forwarders and are only confined to the Customs formality segment of the logistic supply chain,” he said.