28 December 2016, Lagos — THE Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and licensed agents appear to be at odds with shipping firms over newly introduced charges and have commenced moves to have them cancelled.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello disclosed that the Council was aware of the introduction and between the NSC and NPA, the matter was being handled.
Bello also said that there no consultation before the new charges were introduced adding that the parties involved were discussing the matter with a view to finding a solution.
Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, (ANLCA), Mr. Kayode Farinto said that his group was aware of the introduction adding that it would be resisted.
Farinto disclosed that if the maritime sector was properly harnessed, it could take Nigeria out of recession.
“Be assured that we will resist it, the new port charges cannot stay, and we will not allow it, we will come with our position on the matter after the holidays”. He said.
It would be recalled, that a group of Customs agents under the aegis of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, (NCMDLCA), petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the recently introduced shipping companies’ charges which it described as illegal.
The Council in a letter to President Muhammed Buhari said that recent increase by shipping companies called government and port taxes.
In the petition dated December 21, 2016, showed that the introduction of the additional shipping charges was introduced through a circular issued on dated the 28th of October by shipping companies to their customers which are currently being implemented.
The letter which was signed by the President of the Council, Mr. Lucky Amiwero said that the shipping companies introduce all kinds of illegal and unapproved charges because there is nobody regulating them.
The new charge of N38,000 at (thirty-eight thousand Naira) per container was done without any government consultation adding that the move was also against the provision of the Legislative instruments and the MOU signed by all stakeholders.
The group explained that every payment for the carriage of a cargo has been made at the port of loading by the shipper adding any other charges by the shipping companies in Nigeria are illegal and amount to double charges
The group said “The responsibility of the carrier for the goods under the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of goods by Sea covers the period during which the carrier is in charge of the goods at the port of loading during the carriage and at the port of discharge.
*Godwin Oritse – Vanguard