By Ifeyinwa Obi
Presidential Candidate ofÂ the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, has kicked against plans by terminal operators under the aegis of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) to review terminal handling charges upward.
STOAN had announced that the need to review terminal handling charges and progressive storage charges have become inevitable due to rising wages, inflation and other variable costs.
STOAN Vice Chairman, Captain Emmanuel Omotayo had disclosed that the port concession agreement gives room to the concessionaires and the Nigerian Ports Authority to review rates and charges on an annual basis but that the concessionaires had not reviewed their charges in over four years even though NPAâ€™s lease fee has been reviewed annually.
Shittu, however, said that the timing for the review of charges is wrong and ill-advised.He said the upward reviews would further increase the cost of doing business at the ports to the detriment of Nigerians.
â€œ I think there is need to seek for dialogue before the terminal operators embark on the propose increment of the terminal handing charges in the port. These action very on timely and if not properly handled could erupt crises in the port as most people doing business in the port will not welcome sudden increase to their own detrimentâ€, he said.
Meanwhile, Shittu has been endorsed and adopted by several chapters of ANLCA for the associationâ€™s presidential election.
The chapters that have thrown their weights behind Shittuâ€™s presidential bid include Lilypond, Tincan Island Port, Apapa Port, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) and Seme.
Others are Calabar, Onne, Port Harcourt, Warri and Port Harcourt Airport chapters.
The endorsements came at various times when the Prince Olayiwola Shittu Campaign Organisation (POSCO) visited the chapters as part its campaign activities for the ANLCA top job.Chairman Association Electoral Commission (ASECO) has disclosed that the ANLCA zonal and national elections will now hold in Owerri on 17th April, 2010.