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South East traders seek National Assembly’s intervention over bad business relationship

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South-East traders yesterday asked the National Assembly to intervene in a frosty business relationship between them and a shipping company to save their businesses from going under.

They made the plea under the auspices of South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) through a Save Our Soul (S.O.S.) message to the lawmakers.The association said some traders, who are SEAMATA members, were currently suffering in the hands of PIL, a shipping agency located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

In a statement issued by SEAMATA’s President General, Gozie Akudolu and Secretary-General, Alex Okwudiri in Enugu, it said, “Our members entrusted their cargoes and containers from China to PIL for delivery in Nigeria, some in December 2019 and others in January 2020.

“The cargoes were supposed to be delivered at their ports of destination on or before February 15, 2020, but up till date, over six months after shipment, some of the cargoes were yet to arrive Nigerian ports.

“All our inquiries and appeals to PIL were greeted with empty and failed promises of new arrival dates. Four vessels, namely: Kota Salam, Kota Satria, Kota Suria and Kota Singa have our members’ cargoes aboard.

“Of the four vessels, only Kota Singa and Kota Satria arrived some weeks ago, after six and seven months. Most of our members’ cargoes aboard these vessels were funded with loans and overdrafts from banks with interests on them increasing daily.”

The group stressed that the traders decided to approach the National Assembly to prevail on PIL to deliver the remaining consignments without further delay, adding that they may be forced to close their businesses if the lawmakers failed to intervene.

“It is also our prayer that the National Assembly should ban PIL, their affiliates and inheritors from operating in Nigeria to save our citizens from falling into excruciating experience in future.

“It is our final prayer that the National Assembly leadership prevails on PIL to compensate our members the full settlement of interests that have accrued on the loans with which the imports were funded. We hope for a speedy response and action to save our members and their businesses from dying,” it added.


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