Crisis rocks STOAN as GDNL, ABTL pull out of suit against Shippers Council
THERE are strong indications that all is not well among Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) over the court case instituted against the Nigerian Shippers Council.
The Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Seaports Terminal Operator Association of Nigeria (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.
It was learnt that some members have asked the association to withdraw the court case against the shipper’s 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 group.
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, he said they disapproved the continued pursue of the case as it would be to the detriment of 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 Association of Shipping Lines Agencies (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.