…Insist the story of NPA, LCM JV making $1bn a hoax!***
Unfolding indication has shown that anyone linking the name of Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, the Executive Vice Chairman of the SIFAX Group to the controversial Board of Trustees (BOT) of ANLCA, may be grossly misinformed.
A check by the Maritime First revealed that Dr. Taiwo Afolabi never filed any paper for the position, not contested an election for the BOT office, let alone, won it.
“Anyone who thinks otherwise should show evidence to the contrary”, an industry watcher, Anthony Emeordi highlighted in Lagos on Wednesday, saying that the Dr. Taiwo Afolabi he knows, “is too gentlemanly, to get himself involved” in such controversial issue.
Reacting to the allusion that the Maritime guru could be a member or head of BOT of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the informed source said it was possible that some people could have reached out to Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, to utilise his great heights to bamboozle or intimidate perceived or imagined opponents, but he knew the gentleman never fell for it.
In another development, two industry stakeholders, have asked Nigerians to discountenance a recent report by a national newspaper, that the NPA made a $1billion, through a Joint Venture (JV) arrangement with the LCM.
“It is a lie. And I hope you are not a part of that lie”, the concerned stakeholder asked Maritime First reporter, wondering how the story emanated.
“First and foremost, the Lagos Channel Management does not do jobs, for outsiders; and so does not raise charges, from outsiders.
“Secondly, the company does not keep any Escrow accounts. It has only two accounts: one with the Keystone bank and the other with Zenith bank. So, where does the idea of $1bn comes from?”, he asked, chiding the Nigerian journalists as seeing the job as adventure, rather than a mandate with overriding mission to adequately inform.
Speaking in the same vein, another industry stakeholder who also spoke on conditions of anonymity, noted that an aspect of the rules of engagement in the NPA JV, not only makes the Authority the Senior partner, but also excluded the Junior partner, the LCM from collecting fees or levies from outsiders.
“So, the LCM does not collect Shipping charges or levies, by whatever names. That story is a lie!”, he further observed, stressing that it is the news practitioners that probably believed Afolabi headed the ANLCA BOT, that also opined that LCM or its proxies collected $1bn, within 15 years and paid it into a non-existing escrow account.