…As Nicol warns of looming Port Congestion, saying ‘Strike will increase our woes
The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) has appealed to the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to suspend the strike the body planned to ignite on Wednesday, stressing that the action would further worsen the presently nasty clearing situation in the Lagos ports.
The MWUN on Saturday threatened to embark on a three-day warning strike over worsening Ports Access roads, saying they could not continue to watch, while unfixed access roads continue to induce gridlock and accidents sometimes consuming lives and cargo.
“The Shippers Association of Lagos State appeals to the Maritime Workers Union and the Association of Customs Licenced Agents to shelve their strike action due to the volume of Export cargo trapped in the Ports”, pleaded the SALS Chairman, Rev. Jonathan Nicol, noting that the reasons over which they proposed the strike were germane.
“The actions of the respected Association is germane, especially the call for State of Emergency by ANLCA.
“However, the challenges being experienced by our Exporters with goods worth over N868billion is under threat of decomposition due to regulatory reasons.
“We will give our support for a total lockdown if our Exporters are not treated nicely by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the Shipping Lines; and the Terminal Operators to have a serious dialogue with all the Associations including the Shippers Association Lagos State, respectively.
“There is need for our concerted support for Export trade and we cannot allow exporters to wallow in massive loss of perishable goods”, the body indicated further, lamenting that the nation’s shippers were already sweating under a heavy burden regime of demurrages and extortions.
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“Strike will definitely increase our woes and indeed increase cost of demurrages on Import and Export cargo.
“The Apapa traffic has evolved to be a Lagos State traffic that has shown no respect to anyone. Indeed, workers spend quality man-hours on the roads, to and from work.
“The traffic is threatening our corporate existence. Trade is dwindling. This is as a result of systemic failure that will affect all the Port Management Agencies for their failure to solve the Intractable traffic.
The Presidential Task Force Team and the Nigerian Ports Authority are one and the same. We support the amalgamation of Truck owners in the new concept of tackling the traffic, afterall, they are the owners of the Trucks on the roads.
“These issues demand our collective concerns, especially now. Congestion in the Ports is looming.
“We have carefully looked into these unwholesome occurrences and indeed again appeal, for the suspension of the strike. Please!”, the SALS Boss emphatically pleaded.