SALS appeals to MWUN, ANLCA over proposed strike
...Laments export cargo worth billions of Naira trapped at port
The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) has appealed to the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Association of Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) to shelve their strike action due to the volume of export cargo trapped in the Ports.
The MWUN had threatened a three-day warning industrial action beginning from Monday, December 7, to protest the perennial clogging of the port access roads by container-laden trucks, which they say leave other road users in daily pain of man-hour loss and exposure to accidents.
President of SALS, Rev. Jonathan Nicol, said that though the association was making an appeal for the strike not to go on, but that “the actions of the respected association is germane especially the call for State of Emergency by ANLCA.”
Nicol also mentioned that export goods worth over N868 billion remained under the threat of decomposition due to some regulatory reasons.
He said that his association would do well to support actions for the benefit of exporters, considering their economic contributions.
“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,” Nicol said.
Still on the appeal against an industrial action, Nicol said a strike would definitely increase the woes of business owners, increase the cost of demurrages on import and export cargo.
The SALS president added that “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.”
Speaking about a looming port congestion, Nicol said that as reason of collective concern, SALS would support the amalgamation of truck owners in the new concept of tackling the traffic, since they are the owners of the trucks on the roads.
He concluded that: “We have carefully looked into these unwholesome occurrences and indeed again appeal for the suspension of the strike. Please!”