The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has directed Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) to maintain status quo ante even as it begins investigations into the growing crisis generated by the companya��s alleged imposition of N10,000 Port Access Card on clearing agents.
A�A�A�Clearing agents shelved their planned actionA�on MondayA�following the ongoing investigations but are bent on crippling business activities at the terminal if the operators continue to obstruct agents coming for business over the fee, which they consider a double taxation since the NPA already issues port access for a fee.
A�A�A�However, the Tin Can Port Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Akporherhe, who led a team from the agencya��s headquarters at Marina on a fact-finding mission to the terminal last week, said he has directed the operator to maintain status quo until the investigations were concluded.
A�A�A�Meanwhile, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has urged the NPA or the commercial regulator, the Nigerian Shippersa�� Council (NSC) to a�?initiate an action to recover all illegal monies collected from the defenseless port users, and freight agents in particular, by the PTML management since it commenced the illegal collection.a�?
A�A�A�A statement by the Head of Special Duties, Mr. Emmanuel Agubanze, noted that the association had severally complained to the NPA, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the NSC of the implication of the fee on the Federal Governmenta��s Ease of Doing Business initiative.
A�A�A�Wondering how PTML could levy freight agents authorised by law to have access to terminals in the course of their legitimate businesses, NAGAFF stated: a�?To our knowledge, only NPA can collect administrative charge for the issuance of port pass.
A�A�A�a�?It is therefore to the contrary that a terminal operator should impose an illegal charge with regards to access into the port. The contract terms of the terminal operators do not include or envisage such imposition.a�?