Court strikes out case on reversed shipping charges

11 November 2014, Lagos – The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday struck out the case brought  against the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC)  by the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN)  on reversed shipping charges at the ports.

The terminal operators had last week gone to court to stop the council from   implementing the decision reversing some shipping charges    they had introduced unilaterally some years back to the 2009 rate approved by the Federal Ministry of Transport.

The case was struck out   against the terminal operators for non-compliance with the rules of the court.

The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, while striking out the case, explained that the parties which came by way of originating summons, did not tell the court the issues   for determination.

“Since the court cannot proceed without knowing the right and interest of the parties which are inextricably tied to the question of determination, the court cannot proceed on that,”  Buba said.

Counsel to the NSC,   Mrs. Funke Agbor, had   argued that the court could not proceed with the case since the issues for determination had not been explained.

The council had last week reversed the Progressive Storage Charge to the pre-May 2009 rates,  including introduction of other measures   that  will   reduce cost of doing business  in   Nigerian ports.

The council which is the ports economic regulator had also increased  the container Free Storage Period to seven days  instead of  three days . The council also   increased Container demurrage-free days to 10 days.

The    regulator  had also directed that henceforth, container deposits must be   refunded within 10 days after the empties had been returned to the  shipping companies.

But the affected   terminal operators and shipping companies had    gone to  court to restrain the council from implementing the  order which was expected to take effect last week Monday.

However, the case brought by the Association of Shipping Line Agencies (ASLA) against the  Ports Regulator   adjourned to November 17 for further hearing.


– This Day

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