TINCAN CHAPTER CHAIR OF ANLCA, OJO PETER AKINTOYE (OPA), ADDRESSING FREIGHT FORWARDERS AT TICT DOCUMENTATION HALL ON TUESDAY.
ANLCA TINCAN CHAPTER TAKES WAR TO TICT OVER FORCEFUL COLLECTION OF POF
By Mcanthony Onuoha
The Executive of ANLCA TinCan Chapter led by its Chairman, Mr. Ojo Peters Akintoye (OPA), on Tuesday, the 9th of March,2021, paid a protest visit to TinCan Island Container Terminal (TICT), administrative office, located at Point Road, Apapa Lagos,demanding the suspension of the ongoing collection of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF), imposed on freight Forwarders and Customs Licensed Agents by Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN).
The POF collection which presently is being collected by TICT on behalf of CRFFN before issuing Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) to Agents, has been largely condemned as clearing Agents keep kicking against it.
The Chairman of TinCan Chapter of ANLCA, Ojo Peters Akintoye, while addressing clearing Agents at the TICT documentation hall condemned the collection of the fee, describing it as outright illegality.
Ojo, however, called for calm urging agents to remain law abiding and exercise a little patience assuring them that the issue will be resolved in due time. He also passed an information about a meeting between stakeholders and Port Police slated for Wednesday, the 10th of March,2021, of which the prime agendum will be the issue of POF collection.
However, some of the agents there present, expressed their frustration, saying that the process by which the fee is being collected robs them of man-hours as some of them joined their voices calling for its immediate suspension until some vital and very urgent issues of concern are addressed.
As at the time of the protest visit, the most senior staff was not on seat, and the chairman and his team were directed to speak with Assistant Manager, Documentation Department, Otunba Rotimi Idowu, whom when approached, said he just returned from leave, and promised to convey the message to the management.
However, the Chairman and his team moved to TICT by TinCan Port Second Gate, where they met with the Documentation Manager, Mr. Greg Sikpi, whom after hearing their agitation, pleaded with them to exersice a little patience to know the outcome of the meeting today (Wednesday) with the Police.
Mr. Sikpi added that it has not been the best of times as people are going through serious hardships. He called for understanding among stakeholders urging them to resolve whatever issues to avoid unnecessary crises.
In his response, the TinCan Chapter Chairman promised to defend the interests of Clearing Agents at TinCan Chapter, and appealed to the management of TICT to always do the right thing and not allow office holders and agencies of the government to instigate crises between them and Freight Forwarders .
He lamented that is was only TICT that is giving them problem, pointing out that apart from TICT , no other bonded terminal operator is collecting the fee on behalf of CRFFN, accusing the Management of conspiracy.
Furthermore, Ojo disclosed that the Registrar of CRFFN knows that the tenure of the Board Members has expired, and that since the Board Members are representatives of the Agents in the council, that the Registrar going ahead to collect the fee without board members in place is unacceptable. He advised the CRFFN to update its register and put the house in order before collecting such fee.