Crisis looms in STOAN over legal tussle
By; KAYODE ATOFOLAKI, Lagos.
Crisis of confidence appears to brewing among Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) over the court case instituted against the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).
NSC, STOAN, Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) and the Association of Shipping Lines Agencies (ASLA) have been locked in legal tussle over arbitrary hike in tariff.
New Nigerian learnt authoritatively hat some members have asked the association to withdraw the court case against the Shippers Council because they believed they are fighting for the benefit of Nigeria Shippers.
The terminal operators who are against STOAN are Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) a subsidiary of Flour Mills and Greenview Development Terminal (GDNL) which is also a subsidiary of Dangote Ggroup.
The terminal operators hinged their dissatisfaction to the fact that their proprietors are also shippers who are also affected by the charges.
They however said supporting the court case would be fighting against the wish of their proprietors.
In a chat with an official of one of the terminals who pleaded anonymity, he said they disapproved the continued pursue of the case as it is detrimental to some of them who ship-in raw materials for their factories here in Nigeria.
His words, “the Shippers Council is fighting for us and we cannot continue to support the privilege few who want to continue charging exorbitant price and arbitrary hike in tariff for service rendered.”
Terminal Operators have been locked in legal tussle with Nigerian Shippers Council after the latter had ordered restriction on increase in progressive storage charges and reversal to what obtained in May 2009.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has ordered STOAN and ASLA to revert to the various charges as obtained in 2009 and as directed by the NSC.
The court ordered ASLA and STOAN to refund excess revenue made from 2009 to date to the Cargo Defense Fund.
The case which had reached the appellate court had however being adjourned to February 4, 2016 by the Court of Appeal Lagos over backlog of untreated cases before the court.