Illegal cargo handlers causing havoc

Illegal cargo operators indoors for Nigerian pilgrims in Mecca are destroying the business for registered loaders, said Abdulazez Afolaby, the head of Cargo Zeal Technologies.

He urged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and the Council of Muslim Pilgrims of the State of Palestine to come to the aid of registered cargo operators.

Cargo Zeal is one of the NACHONS approved by the excess baggage carrier of pilgrims for the year 2018 Hajj.

Speaking to journalists in Mecca, Afolabi said that companies that were awaiting approval for cargo handling from Nigerian pilgrims paid a considerable amount in the form of registration, bank guarantee and other fees.

He also said that they need to hire Nigerians to travel to Saudi Arabia to fulfill the task of handling the goods.

"One of the serious problems that we face this year is the problem of illegal operators who work with impunity.

"By going through the proper process to allow them to come here and work, illegal operators are still allowed and even encouraged by some government officials to transport cargo, which I think is not fair," he said.

He also said that "illegal operators compete with us in the house of pilgrims, which is not good for us. For example, the surplus freight operator in Saudi Arabia, which we know, is not registered with NAHCON, competes with us in the placement of pilgrims.

"They set up their stations in the place of pilgrims instead of their office. We well know that they did not register and did not place bonds with NAHCON. Cargo zeal has a license to transport excess cargo of Nigerian pilgrims, "he said.

Head of Cargo Zeal, in addition to the issue of illegal operators, said that registered cargo operators Hajj faced the problem of high charges with the airline, and the fee that they can charge is tied to NAHCON.

He said that every year the problem is that "NAHCON, apparently, evaluates cargo operators on a par with the airline and passenger business, in fact, these are two different things."

He also asked NAHCON to consider the fees paid by the excess cargo operators because of the prevailing problems.

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