The National Council for Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agent (NCMDLCA) has reported that more than 5,000 overtime containers have been trapped in the Lagos port due to demurrage charged by shipping companies and terminal operators.
The council’s Director of Information Mr Raph Agbogu, revealed this to journalists in Lagos State while x-raying the riots in the nation’s maritime sector that, had been mitigating government effort on the easy of doing business in the port.
Agbogu, said that, Nigeria importers were being ripped of by both the shipping companies and the terminal operators that ended in capital flight to their countries of origin while leaving Nigeria and its businessmen bare.
The spokesman, who queried the rational for unconventional charges by foreign shipping companies operating in Nigeria ports that led to demurrages said that,”shipping companies charge importers on weekend days and public holidays that they do not come to work.
“Even the five days grace that is supposed to be given to cargo after landing before charges begin to count is no longer being observed by shippers and operators thereby subjecting port users to harsh business conditions that make them abandon containers haven accumulated charges.
“Many of the charges are antithetical to transition and unfounded there no reason for a shipping company that has no holding bay to charge demurrage than its freight charge.
“The trend of charing demurrage for the days the ship stay on shore waiting to berth should be reviewed because after stemming the cargo in a terminal the operators starts immediately to charge theirs which amounts to double taxation,” he said.
He added that, those were some of the racketeering in the port that had made the port system unattractive and costly in relation to neighbouring ports of the Republic of Benin and Lome.
He urged the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) the port regulator and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as port technical regulators to review most of those unhealthy practices and save the Nigerian investors from foreign shippers.
According to him part of the port concession pact is that operators should own holding bays to ease logistics condemned the practice of shipping companies and terminal operators doing business without such facilities as required