|Zafar: WACT MD|
Angry young Freight Forwarders blocked the entrance to the offices of West Africa Container Terminal(WACT)at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) in Onne Seaport earlier today over alleged WACT's shabby attitude to Freight Forwarders.
Efforts made by ANLCA Onne Seaport Chapter Chairman, Mr. Mike Ebeatu and leaders of other freight forwarding associations to have the gate opened was rebuffed by the angry youthful Freight Forwarders.
A new Managing Director of WACT, Mr. Naved Zafar assumed office in the AP Moller container terminal at the beginning of this month.
Freight Forwarders in Onne Seaport last month engaged in a one-week strike to protest what they called "high handedness and extortion by some Customs officers".
The week long shut down of the seaport however created congestion with the attendant pressure on Customs and WACT to clear the backlog.
Last week, WACT announced that it would not position containers for examination for the next three weeks, to enable it clear the backlog. The freight forwarders and their importers and exporters would however pay the demurrage that would accrue.
This development obviously angered the young Freight Forwarders.
There have been allegation of some freight forwarders associations bigwigs collecting money in dollars to pressure for the call off of the strike which most freight forwarders we spoke to in Onne believe did not achieve the objective for which it was called. They spoke on condition of anonymity.
When we spoke with the ANLCA Chapter Chairman in Onne Seaport on phone, he confirmed the incident but opined that blocking the entrance to WACT offices is uncalled for. He maintained that the issues that prompted the blockade can be sorted out through dialogue.
He further revealed that those that blocked the entrance to WACT offices were sponsored by disgruntled persons, but refused to name such persons.
The Onne Chapter Chairman of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Okey Okoro, Ph.D, told us on phone that the young Freight Forwarders were venting their fraustrations over the delays in WACT occasioned by the congestion, and agreed with the ANLCA Chapter Chairman that the action was uncalled for as they are already dialoguing with WACT on the way forward. He hower disagreed on the allegation of sponsorship.