Clearing Agents Demand N200bn From GTBank Over Demurrages Incurred At Seaports
Fred Omotara, Lagos
Clearing Agents under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have demanded for the payment of over N200billion demurrage charges incurred by freight forwarders at the ports over the suspension of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) by the Nigeria Customs Service for alleged non-remittance of import duty collected on behalf of the federal government.
The association, in a meeting with the officials of the bank on Wednesday, stated that its members will not bear the cost of demurrage incurred while pressing it in that they are not ready to let go of the losses.
Speaking on behalf of the association, its National Secretary; Mr Babatunde Mukaila expressed dissatisfaction in the way the management of GTB handled its suspension by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), noting that ANLCA is aware that NCS gave GT Bank two weeks’ notice to resolve their challenges, yet they neither resolved the issue nor made alternative arrangement in the interest of their customers.
He argued that in the past, some banks have had similar problems but quickly appointed a receiver bank pending the resolution of the matter.
The ANLCA scribe stressed that the approach of the bank amounts to negligence on their part, adding that where there is negligence, someone or group suffers the detriment and as such in every detriment there must be compensation.
He reiterated that the aims and objectives of the association is to protect its members while asking the bank officials how they intend to mitigate the losses.
Other members of the association in attendance also condemned the bank’s attitude and concluded that there will be no stand down on demand for adequate compensation.
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