Imported goods worth millions of naira belonging to hundreds of Igbo traders have been allegedly seized by the authorities and handling agencies at the nation’s ports.
The traders under the umbrella of southeast Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) disclosed this in a petition to the National Assembly, urging the lawmakers to come to their rescue and prevail on the authorities and handling agencies to release the seized consignments.
The traders alleged that these seized consignments have continued to attract demurrage before and since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown
In the Save-Our-Soul petition sent to the National Assembly, which was co-signed by the President of the association, Chief Gozie Akudolu and his Secretary, Alex Okwudiri, the traders recounted that most of their members raised funds through bank loans and overdrafts to import goods from Asia and Europe.
They explained that some of the consignments arrived at the ports shortly before and during the pandemic lockdown of the nation’s ports.
According to them, all their efforts to clear the consignments and take delivery of their goods during the lockdown, proved abortive, as the offices of the authorities and handling agencies at the ports were closed without anyone to attend to owners of the consignments and their clearing agents.