Home Cargo Handling Charges increase: ANLCA, SAHCO and NAHCo Impasse

Handling Charges increase: ANLCA, SAHCO and NAHCo Impasse

448
0

…agents reject new rates ….ANLCA says, NAHCO do not have adequat

e facilities, manpower ….leaking roofs damaged clients goods

…We followed due process in the review…handlers 

Crises is brewing between the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos and the two ground handling companies over upward review on handling and other charges of cargoes.

The clearing agents are reported to have incurred loss of over N3b due to the impasse.

To this end, the clearing agents have decided to halt their operations in the warehouses of the Skyway Aviation Handling company SAHCO and Nigeria Aviation Handling company, NAHCO, the two ground handling companies operating at the airport.

At a media briefly in Lagos, the Vice Chairman, ANLCA, Comrade Davies Chuwunenye said, the body was first notified of the review of the charges to 300% in a circular in the second week of February and they vehemently kicked against it.

According to him, the Association viewed this as being obnoxious and highly insensitive judging from the fact that the economic situation currently is harsh to the extent that the Nigerian masses are struggling to survive.

“In view of this, the Unions Excos entered into a negotiation with the Ground handlers specifically to make them realize that increment at this time is ill-timed and that it will definitely have negative effect even when it was still less than 3 years they had last increase”.

Comrade Chuwunenye said, their appeal for reduction was later reluctantly brought down to a 100% which the Union is still not comfortable with, adding that, in all trade dispute globally, there is no where 100% increment is accepted and implemented.

“Their reason that there is galloping inflation in Nigeria but even at that, we all know that inflation in Nigeria has not gone beyond 23% so where is the justification for this”.

He called on the Federal Government, the regulatory agencies and other concerned agencies to intervene in this issue with a view to inviting both parties to a roundtable to resolving the matter and avoid industrial crisis in the cargo business across airports in Nigeria.

The new cargo handling tariff/rate effective April 1, 2023 in a circular by NAHCO made available to the media shown that;

Old/New Rates 
General cargo/bank consignment old tariff per Kg of N65.30k is now N130.6kDemurrage charge (storage) N13 now N26, Courier N76 to N152, COA (Live Animals/perishable/dangerous Goods/Printing materials/Diplomatic, N82 now N189.

Others are valuable/ strong room storage from N25 to N57.5k, Freezer N52 to N120, Vault/Bullion N585 to N1,170, Minimum charge N2,600 to N5,200, Human remains N60 to N120, Export charges N39 to N78, Late registration N9,100 to N10,000 and Reregistration N4,420 to N15,000.

Other Matters Arising

ANLCA as a body says, they are unhappy with the ground handlers over their inability to provide them the needed facilities to do their work, inadequate personnel, rest and waiting rooms.

The ANLCA Vice Chairman, Davies Chuwunenye, particularly mentioned that, most of their clients’ goods and cargoes were recently damaged by the heavy downpour on Wednesday April 26, 2023 in the NAHCO warehouse due to leaking roof.

He described the warehouse on that day as a “Swimming Pool”.

“Leakages everywhere, we have been suffering losses as our goods and cargoes being wet by rain. It has always been like this, this is why we have been resisting anything increment in that warehouse. It has been like this, we have not seen any remarkable change or any promise that has been kept”.

“What we have bee getting is nothing to write home about, I can tell you authoritatively most of the hand trucks used in both warehouses are bought by our members and we are paying handling charges to the ground handlers”.

He added, “In NAHCO in particular, we do not have waiting rooms for our members, no convenience, SAHCO has tried in that aspect, we have waiting room in SAHCO we have convenience but in NAHCO nothing like that and other issues we have been having with them”.

Comrade Chukwunenye accused NAHCO of not having adequate manpower to cater to their needs, saying, “Anytime they want to propose increment, they come up with promises. We had a situation some years back when they went and hired machines positioned them for us to come and inspect, few days after we had accepted the increment those things disappeared, they returned them to where they rented them from”.

ANLCA Resolve 
Comrade Chukwunenye said, the body has resolved that, non of their members would pay for any demurrage if the impasse last for a month, the handling companies would be responsible for this.

“We are not going to pay demurrage, it might be another round of crisis so, the earlier they come up, sit down sought out our issues the better for all of us”.

He assured that, to avoid crisis around the warehouses over the increment, their members have been told not be around the warehouses and to stay at home until the issue is resolved.

Handling Companies Response
In a letter addressed to the Chairman, ANLCA signed by the representatives of NAHCo and SAHCO, Boma Ukwunna and Saheed Lasisi, the handlers said, they have followed due process and have engaged in wide consultation with the agents and other relevant bodies.

According to the letter, “The final rates adjustment was effectuated in line with Aviation standard as all relevant stakeholders recognised by law including government agencies and the regulator were duly consulted”.

“We have also complied with the relevant provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s four main principles on increase in charges for Airport and Air Navigation Service providers as contained in ICAO Doc 9082, which are:• Cost recovery• Transparency• Consultation with users• Non-Discrimination”.

“We were therefore shocked and taken aback that having achieved the above millage based on thorough justifications regarding the current economic realities, your members still went ahead, staging a protest for a matter that has already been concluded/resolved”.

“It is on record that the Ground Handlers have held several meetings with all critical stakeholders and various associations of Freight Forwarders and Brokers in the industry. During the engagements and numerous conversations held with the stakeholders, it was collectively agreed that there is need to ensure compensation for services rendered as a way of cost recovery for operations and such must enhance safety, efficiency, and security of our collective operations and the airport environment. Consequently, it was suggested that the Ground Handlers should amongst other things come up with competitive rates that to a large extent match up with the integral cost of operations and that are commensurate with what obtains in other West African countries. This was intensively considered by all parties”.

They assured that, their warehouses are wide open for business in the usual operating standard/requirements, and we will continue to do so in line with our mandate and the relevant laws in other to serve you even better than ever.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here