The invasion of some shipping companies by officials of the Federal Committee on Competition and Consumer Protection in Lagos last week has been strongly condemned by the League of Maritime Editor and Publishers (LOMEP).
The officials aided by heavily armed Police and army personnel invaded the premises of COSCO, Hull Blyth, CMA CGM, LANSAL and Hapag Lloyd and unleashed mayhem on their staff.
The editors in a statement condemned the act, saying reports have the staff members of these companies were held hostage for hours by the government officials while personal effects of the staff were seized.
According to the editors, “The harsh action must be roundly condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians. Though we are not against government officials exercising their statutory responsibilities but such acts must be done responsibly.
“We believe that laid down procedures must be adhered to, in the process of executing such responsibilities, else the gains will be lost. This mode of harassing companies and their staff must stop, because if not well handled, it negates the growth of the business environment. Therefore, this ignominious act of government officials should be roundly condemned.
“While we encourage government officials to step up the tempo in their enforcement process, we appeal that extreme caution should be exercised by government officials in order not to negate the current democratic dispensation. “
According to the editors, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has denied knowledge of this heinous act. “But LOMEP hereby appeals to whichever arm of the government that is culpable in this ignoble act to tread softly because this is a democratic dispensation. This type of workplace invasion should be discouraged.”