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Dialogue fails: Freight Forwarders talk with Shipping Companies over Extortion ends in Stalemate



Dialogue fails: Freight Forwarders talk with Shipping Companies over Extortion ends in Stalemate

Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko

… As NAGAFF mulls 14-day demurrage-free period for Containers***

Talks between freight forwarders and representatives of shipping companies on Friday, ended in a stalemate as the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) seeks for 14-day demurrage-free period for containers.

The National Coordinator of the NAGAFF 100 Percent Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, told journalists after the meeting to address the impasse failed to achieve peaceful goal.

The meeting had in attendance the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Shippers’Council (NSC), Council for the Regulating of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN) and representative of shipping companies.

It would be recalled that freight forwarders recently threatened to withdraw their services from the nation’s seaports due to extortion and high handedness by shipping companies.

In the eyes of the public, the foreign shipping giants are daily milking the poor Nigerian Shippers and the freight forwarders were only doing their best to save Nigerian economy from further abuse and soaring inflation.

Eid Mubarak: ANLCA calls for Sober reflection, greater attention on Maritime industry

Iju Tony Nwabunike
ANLCA National President

“The issue of withdrawal of service is still pending because there is no concrete agreement reached and our position still stands, we will withdraw from service on Nov.18 if nothing is done.

“On the container deposit issue, we lose a lot of money, N200,000 on 40ft container and N100,000 on 20ft container, and after losing this money, the shipping companies also debit us and they still receive their empty containers back.

“We are saying no to this. Our request is that the shipping companies should give us extra 14 days from the day the container leaves the port till it is brought back, if we pass 14 days, then they can now charge us.

“This is our proposal and they said no to that,” Tanko said.

He said that the representatives from the shipping companies agreed to wave six days but the problem was that they should be specific on when they want to start counting the waiver.

Tanko pointed out that they still had confidence with the three regulators present, NPA, Shippers’ Council and the CRFFN because they must have a solution to this problem, as they represent the government.

He disclosed that the body language of the representative of the shipping company was not too good and showed no commitment.

The Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.

“Though we raised that issue, he adjusted and said that he will communicate with others and whatsoever is agreed on will be communicated to others,” he said.

The freight forwarders also blamed the Government’s representatives, particularly the NPA for culpability, hinting that the Authority was actually not doing enough.

Tanko said that he was shocked when the NPA representative said that the authority issued shipping companies licenses for holding bay.

“We believe holding bay is supposed to come from shipping companies and that is what the law says, anybody that is running a shipping company must have a holding bay, but we do not know what is going on now.

“Our position now is that the issue is not from freight forwarders and so they should stop collecting this money from us,” he said.

Tanko noted that the five accredited associations in the industry had agreed to work together to achieve the desired result.

“There should be no more division because people are enjoying on that division, especially between the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and NAGAFF, the major association.

“There are some groups of people that do not like this unity because of their personal interest.

“It is better for us to come together than being divided. We need to come together so that we can fight our course,” he said.

The public is gradually enlightened that the current ‘bleeding’ is likely to get truncated if all the nation’s freight forwarders could co-ordinate and collaborate more, to speak with one voice, no matter the level of foreign operator’s initial resistance.

In the freight forwarder’s view, a body collecting free money that daily runs into several millions would not willingly stop, except the force of opposition overrides the degree of initial resistance.




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FISHING: Maritime expert, Edodo-Emore tasks FG on advantages in ocean resources



FISHING: Maritime expert, Edodo-Emore tasks FG on advantages in ocean resources

A Maritime industry expert, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to secure and harness the advantages of the nation’s ocean resources.

Edodo-Emore, Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd., made her observation in Lagos, stressing that illegal, undocumented and unregulated fishing that occurs in the country‘s waterways needed to be checked, in addition to securing the ocean resources.

“The competition facing the Nigerian fishermen in the fishing industry in Nigeria is enormous. One is that industrial fishing organisations from different continents come to take advantage of our oceans.

“It requires us to be alert, our security apparatus needs to be alive and alert to make sure that our oceans and its resources are protected.

“It is important for government to know that there is need to educate and train its people, to be able to take advantage of the ocean resources.

“And so, we need for the Ministry of Agriculture, the minister in charge of fishing, to work with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and security forces to protect our oceans,” she said.

She noted that it was important to ensure the use of technology to address some of the challenges confronting the fishing industry such as catching fish, storage and preservation.

She also said that effective storage of fishes makes it readily available for sale at any point in time.

“Technology will ensure our fishes move out of the country but unfortunately, many of our fishermen are artisanal and we need to move from artisanal to industrial fishing.

“In doing this, requires training, involvement of government, push and support from them. It also requires collaboration with other countries.

“The fishermen are already in associations. What needs to be done is to bring technology to that association and support them,” she said.

She noted that these issues affecting fishing and fisheries as well as the country’s ocean resources would be addressed at the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting (MBRBM), scheduled for April 13 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

According to her, the aim of the MBRBM is to bring users and suppliers of Nigerian maritime and aquacultural services together to share ideas and explore opportunities in Nigeria’s Blue Economy.

She listed some notable personalities for the roundtable including Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, Abisola Olusanya, Commissioner for Agriculture, Lagos State, Benedette Okonkwo, President, Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) and many others.

The benefits of the meeting are: visibility, growth, networking, impartation and exchange of knowledge and solutions.

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Indian tribunal upholds 162m fine on Google



Indian tribunal upholds 162m fine on Google

An Indian appeals court National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has upheld a penalty of 162 million U.S. dollars imposed on Google by the country’s antitrust regulator.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI)’s penalty is connected to a case related to Android’s market dominance.

The NCLAT said the CCI order did not violate the principles of natural justice and Google was liable to pay the fine.

Google defended itself saying “we believe it (the CCI decision) presents a major setback for our Indian users and businesses that trust Android’s security features, and potentially raising the cost of mobile devices.’’

“We upheld this penalty,’’ NCLAT said earlier on Wednesday, adding that “the appellant (Google) is allowed to deposit the penalty.’’

The order is seen as a major setback to Google in India.

The NCLAT had held that Google asking the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to pre-install the entire suite of Google applications amounts to imposition of unfair conditions.

Over 95 percent of smartphones in India use the Android system.

In October 2022, the CCI imposed a fine on Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to Android mobile devices. Google had challenged the ruling before the NCLAT.

Meanwhile, the search giant has been given 30 days to pay the penalty and implement the order.

Google now has the option to challenge the order in India’s Supreme Court. 

– Xinhua

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LASG Arraigns Chrisland School, 4 Staff Over alleged Manslaughter of 12-year-old Student



LASG Arraigns Chrisland School, 4 Staff Over alleged Manslaughter of 12-year-old Student

… Court stringently grants them bail***

The Lagos State Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) on Thursday arraigned Chrisland School Ltd and four staff members for the alleged involuntary manslaughter of the 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran.

The Ikeja High Court however admitted the four staff members, comprising Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria on a two-count charge of manslaughter and negligent acts, to bail conditions, after the defendants, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 Justice Oyindamola Ogala admitted the defendant’s bail after the defence counsel moved the motion for bail dated  March 28 and March 29 respectively.

There were no objections from the prosecution, led by the Lagos State Attoney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.

Ogala admitted the first and second defendants to N10 million bail each with two sureties each in like sum

She also admitted the third and the fourth defendants to N20 million bail each with two sureties each in like sum.

The judge said all the sureties must be gainfully employed, have credible and verified evidence of financial status and reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

“All the sureties must have two years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government and must submit their international passports with the Chief Registrar of the State High Court,” Ogala said.

The court, however, ordered the defence counsel to write an undertaken in order for the defendants to be released to them before the perfection of their bail.

The defence counsel were Mrs Bimpe Ajegbomojon (first defendant), Richard Ahonarougho (SAN) second defendant), Olukayode Enitan, SAN, ( third defendant),  Ademola Animashaun (fourth defendant)  and Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, (fifth defendant) while Mrs Oluwatodimu Ige held brief for the family of the deceased.

The five defence counsels urged the court to grant bail to the defendants on self-recognisance.

According to the charge, information signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr  Babajide Martins, on March 24, the defendants allegedly committed the offence on  Feb. 9, at about 1. 00 p.m. in Agege Sports Stadium, Agege, Lagos.

The prosecution said that the defendants negligently killed Adeniran by not ensuring her safety.

The state also submitted that the defendants acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.

Onigbanjo, while arraigning the defendants, informed the court that the state would be presenting 17 witnesses against the defendants.

“We shall be praying for a date to open trial,” he said.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offence contravened Sections 224 and 251 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

Ogala subsequently adjourned the case until May 25 for the commencement of trial. 

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