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Dissenting voice hits STOAN as GNLD, ABTL want case against Shippers’ Council on shipping charges withdrawn

The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria
(STOAN)‎ has been hit by dissenting voice of two of its strong members who have
reportedly kicked against the case brought by the association against the
Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on the issue of shipping charges.

The STOAN and Association of Shipping Lines Agencies
(ASLA) had dragged the Council to court when it issued notices reducing some
charges it described as arbitrary.
The two associations had lost the case in the Federal
High Court Ikoyi, but proceeded to the Appeal Court for further determination.
However, Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) a
subsidiary of Flour Mills and Greenview Development Terminal (GDNL), a
subsidiary of Dangote group are said to have kicked against the continued legal
battle against the Ports regulator.
The two companies, it was gathered, have requested
that the case against the Council should be withdrawn on the argument that they
are fighting for the interest and benefit of Nigerian shippers.
The two, according to our source said they were not
happy with the case since their proprietors who are equally shippers have been
affected by the charges at the ports.
Supporting the continuation of the legal battle
against the Council, according to them, would translate to fighting against the
interest of their proprietors.
An official of one of the companies opposed to the
legal battle against the Council had told newsmen, “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
The Council had ordered that the progressive storage
charges should be reversed to what it was in May 2009, leading to the STOAN
going to the court.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos
after hearing the case ordered STOAN and Association of Shipping Lines Agencies
(ASLA) to revert to the old charges as in obtained in 2009 and, as directed by
the NSC.

The court also ordered that what was collected as
excess revenue from 2009 to date should be refunded to the Cargo Defense Fund.
‎The case which is in the Appeal court was adjourned
to February 4, 2016.

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