By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has rejected demurrage imposed by shipping companies and terminal operators during the disruption to their businesses during the #EndSARS protests across the country.
Demurrage refers to charges that the freight forwarders or charterers pay to the shipowners for delayed operations of loading/unloading.
Speaking on this, the 100 per cent Compliance Team of the association, through its National Coordinator, Mr Ibrahim Tanko, in Lagos said, “it has come to our knowledge that some shipping companies and terminal operators have already started charging storage and demurrage for the period of EndSARS protest.”
He noted that this was without recourse to other consideration for the security of lives and properties.
“Following the #ENDSARS Nigerian youths protest which lasted for more than a week now, the NAGAFF 100 per cent Compliance Team wishes to appeal to shipping companies and terminal operators in Lagos not to impose demurrage/rent.
“First consideration world over in any crisis period is the security of lives and properties and it is most unfortunate to note that, otherwise is the case here.
“We want to say a big No to that effect,” he said in a statement.
Mr Tanko said that they had expected shipping companies and terminal operators to show some concern, love, solidarity and pity for Nigerian youths and those importers who lost their beloved ones in the struggle for good governance.
Mr Tanko noted that NAGAFF 100 per cent Compliance Team would not fold its hands and watch its members being extorted for no fault of theirs.
He said that the team would resist such demurrage by shipping companies and terminal operators.
“We will mobilise in most civil manner other associations, truck owners, clearing agents and port users in a card-carrying protest against shipping companies and terminal operators to block their gates and entrances until our demands are met.
“We, therefore, call on the shipping companies and terminal operators to refund with immediate effect the demurrage to those who have already paid.
“We will escalate this matter after 24 hours of this notice if they (shipping companies and terminal operators) fail to heed to our prayers.
“However, we will not forget the good working relationship we have with you to crave for your anticipated understanding,” Mr Tanko said.
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