The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) on Sunday in Lagos urged freight forwarders to suspend their strike.
The appeal was contained in a letter by Mr. Sam Nwakohu, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of CRFFN, to heads of freight forwarding associations.
The associations include the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders and Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents.
The others are the Nigerian Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators and National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Agents.
Nwakohu said that CRFFN considered the strike as illegal and a threat to the life of teeming Nigerians relying on the supply chain for essential supplies.
“We want to believe that freight forwarders understand the urgency of the times we are in and the fact that the Federal Government classifies freight forwarding as essential service, especially in the context of COVID -19.
“While appreciating the Federal Government for underscoring the importance of freight forwarding profession, we must not engage in anything that will jeopardise the efforts of government in containing the pandemic as well as sustain the lives of people.
“Any action obstructing the flow of the essential supply chain at this time may tantamount to sabotage,” he said.
Nwakohu said that the COVID-19 situation was similar to wartime, adding that those entrusted with ensuring the sustainable flow of life support essentials must be professional enough and ethically responsible in the discharge of their duties.
He said that if not ended fast, the strike might attract serious consequences from the Federal Government, causing the associations’ leadership to be held responsible.
The CRFFN registrar urged heads of freight forwarding associations to act fast to end the strike.
He gave the assurance that stakeholders would work together to address whatever challenges confronting freight forwarding.
“Bear in mind that the COVID-19 Maritime Task Team is fully on ground to address complaints affecting COVID-19-related operations at the ports,” he said.