By Albert Akpor
ASSOCIATION of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents ( ANLCA) has accused one of the terminal operators, -Port Terminal Multi Service Limited (PTML) as being allegedly responsible for portÂ congestion prompting the operator toÂ issue exit note to agents.
The association claimed that the administrative bottleneck introduced by the terminal operator which involved writing the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) with a view to getting the exit is like a camel passing through the needlesâ€™ eye.
According to the associationâ€™s public relations officer, Mr. Segun Maru Omotayo, the delay by the terminal operator to issue the exit note promptly was aimed at extorting agents to pay additional demurrage. â€œBy delaying the issuance of exit note, the consignment now incures more demurrage and the agents are forcedÂ to pay additional money before taking delivery of their consignment.
This has led to congestion at PTML exit note office andÂ the port.â€ Describing the trend as usurping the duties of the Nigerian Customs service, the PTML Tin Can Chairman, Prince Bola Adesokan said it is high timeÂ this administrative bottle neckedÂ is tackled.
adding that, the association had met severally with the terminal operatorâ€™s Managing Director, Mr. Rudu Frednado over the matter without fruitful result.Â According to him, â€œ We view this trend as disturbing and literally usurping the constitutional responsibility of the Nigerian Customs service and that is why we are calling the Customs to withdraw such privilege from the terminal operator without delay.
Sometimes, an agent may have written a terminal delivery order for about two weeks and it will not dispatched to the issuance of exit note.Â ThisÂ subtle way of extorting money from the agents.Â And we are saying that this ugly trend must stop.â€
Speaking on the same vein, the Task Force secretary, Mr. Albert Urada (aka Obama) has threatened that members of the association will down tools if this inhuman trend continues.Â He said, :Some of agentsâ€™ documents submitted for the issuance of exit note can no longer be traced due to negligence and the trick to extort money from our members.Â Until this incident is checked, we will have not choice than to go on strike.â€
Frantic efforts to speak to the MD of the terminal operator failed.Â But a source close to his office which denied the allegation said the association was only being unfair to PTML.Â â€œAll we are trying to achieve is accountability and scrutiny.Â We can not be bamboozled into issuing exit notes without first ascertainingÂ the genuineness of the order..â€ aid the source.