Despite the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA) has lauded government agencies at the Lagos Ports for ensuring smooth business operations.
The Association therefore implored Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders and Stakeholders to utilize the windows created by the agencies to move their consignments from the Ports while it lasts.
National President of ANCLA Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike, who made the call in a statement, disclosed that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has granted terminal operators waiver of Rent Charges for initial period of 21 days effective from 23, March 2020, while the Nigeria Customs Service and the Shippers Council will allow the exit of cargoes that have been fully paid for and ready to load during the Public Holidays from Friday 10th – Monday 13th of April 2020..
Nwabunike assured that the leadership of ANLCA will continue to liaise with all relevant Government Agencies and other Port Stakeholders to make sure its members do not suffer undue losses while the lockdown lasts.
In addition, he appealed to members of the Association to always follow the right channels of information in order that they are not deprived or short changed by any agency during the period.
The ANLCA boss, who noted that the total lockdown of activities in Lagos State occasioned by the pandemic has in no small way affected lives and businesses, urged members not to despair, adding that it is the price the whole world is paying now to keep both citizens and economies alive.
The statement reads in part, ” Once again, dear Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders and Stakeholders in the Nigeria Maritime industry, I want to first of all appreciate all the efforts all of us in the Maritime community have put up to keep the sector functioning despite the risks and challenges of the Covid19 pandemic.
There is no gain saying that the Coronavirus pandemic occasioned by the total lockdown of activities in Lagos State have in no small way, affected our lives and businesses. But I urge you all not to despair as this is the price the whole world is paying now to keep both citizens and economies alive.I must say for us in Nigeria and the maritime sector, though it has not been easy, but not either too bad.
Dear colleagues in the freight forwarding profession, as promised, I want to keep you abreast with the latest developments in the maritime sector as at today, Wednesday 8th, April, 2020.
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has asked all Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders who have finalised all payments of duties and ready to load their cargoes to do so as the Customs will allow exit of such cargoes from the ports during the Public Holidays from Friday 10th – Monday 13th of April 2020.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has issued mandate letters to Terminal Operators for waiver of Rent Charges for initial period of 21 days , effective 23rd, March, 2020.The letter was dated 2nd April, 2020 and titled RELIEF MEASURES TO PORT USERS DUE TO OUTBREAK OF COVID19.
It reads in part ” Following the scourge of Covid19 pandemic and in line with the global trend of providing reliefs to businesses for the benefits of the general populace, you are hereby directed to suspend Rent Charges on Consignments with effect from Monday, 23rd March, 2020 for an initial period of 21 days”.
Dear colleagues with these two critical trade windows given us by the government agencies involved, I want to implore all of you to effectively grab this opportunity and move your consignments from the ports of Lagos as fast as you can, while the window last.
I want to assure you all that the leadership of ANLCA will , especially at this period liaise with all relevant Government Agencies and other Port Stakeholders to make sure our members do not suffer undue losses in this trying time.
I want to also appeal to all my colleagues to always follow the right channels of information so that they are not deprived or short changed by any agency during this period.
Finally I want to so far appreciate the efforts of the Federal Government and its agencies operating in the ports for their efforts in making sure businesses move smoothly in our ports during this period of lockdown”.
Further, Nwabunike commended the maritime journalists in being alive to their constitutional responsibility in keeping the public public informed about happenings in the ports despite the lockdown challenges.
Describing maritime journalists as vibrant and dependable partners, Nwabunike urged government agencies to extend their hands of fellowship at this period to the media to aid them perform more creditably.