Country Manager of APM terminals starting badly – Says NAGAFF Founder, Dr Aniebonam
*His statement about freight forwarders volatile, unguided
*Calls on Shippers’ Council to invoke power of coersion
By Udeme Clement
The Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, has said that the newly-appointed Country Manager of APM terminals, Mr Klaus Laursen, is starting his duties badly.
He made this assertion in a chat with maritime reporters yesterday, at NAGAFF headquarters in Lagos.
He described the statement made by Mr Laursen, that congestion at the terminals is as a result of freight forwarders not coming to clear their containers as volatile and unguided.
He said, “Such comment coming from him shows that he is starting badly. He needs prayers. Why I said he needs prayers is because if you are not at the place where they buried a dead person and wants to exhume, you will start from the legs.
“I do not even understand what came to his mind when he said that freight forwarders are not coming to clear containers from the terminals”.
He asked, “What is the meaning of such volatile statement? Is he saying that someone will have a container in the port and leave it there? What about the finances involved in carrying out such responsibility?
“I think Mr Laursen is just in Nigeria to make money, not really concerned about trade facilitation and development of our own port industry. He is only interested in picking money. That is the way I look at the whole thing from his statement.”
The Founder went on, “I thought he would have first visited critical stakeholders, engage them in discussions about issues in the industry and listen to them, rather than making such unguided statement, indeed very unguided”.
“At what point will he make reference to Section 31 of Customs law that deals with Cargo dwell time in the port? If he is conversant with that section of the law, he would not make such volatile statement. The reality is that government has provided for these situations but we are not implementing them the way we ought to.
“If he had taken time to look at the environment he is operating, he would have understood things better. Is it right to move cargo without the consent of the agent to another terminal? Is it right to do that? Is it not criminal intended?”
That is why Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, as an agency of the Federal Government must invoke the power of coersion, to make arrest and stop civil litigation, which takes a longer period”.