By Chris Ndibe
The Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) is collaborating with National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on how to reduce the cost of doing business at the ports through introduction of insurance cover on Containers regime.
Mr Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of NSC, disclosed this when the Council’s delegation visited the Management of NAICOM on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Bello said the duo would also look into risk management at the various Ports to ease business.
He said insurance should be looked at in the area of policies involving goods on transit, accidents, loss, damages, away from religious sentiments that everything happened for a reason which could be prevented.
He said that the Containers Deposit at the Ports is about N150,000 to N200,000 on each containers which runs into billions making supply costly.
He said this was because most of the containers couldn’t be returned within the expected date due to the nature of the roads.
“As our functions as Ports regulator, we have our eyes on the cost of doing business in Nigeria, so in the ease of doing business and the cost of doing business, we want to make our Ports competitive, we have to moderate the cost.
“One of the cost is Insurance deposits that Shippers pay for taking the containers out of the Port.
“The containers are the assets of the shipping companies, they must be returned in perfect condition and so they don’t get that because as at the time the containers are not returned, the deposit is not refunded.
“When you return the containers in good time , you collect your deposit back.
“However, that is not as simple as that, access to the port maybe difficult and if a container is not returned within a certain time limit, they could be a problem, one loses his deposit or part of the deposit and so the shippers has to forgo the deposit.
“Sometimes the shipping company, even when the containers are returned they don’t pay the deposit in good time and that is money lost.
“So what we are saying is, there are alot of issues like that, that we could have the insurance company come to take care of,” Bello noted.
He said that the insurance company could come in, to make sure the containers are covered at a lesser cost, to reduce some of the challenges faced by the Shippers.
Hello said: “We want policy on the participation of insurance in container regime, there is policy on goods in transit of course, we want the policies to cover most of the risk that Shippers, freight forwarders incure including demurrage and rent .
” If this could be covered, that will make shipping extremely cheaper and also Door-to-Door delivery of cargoes, which will be covered by insurance.”
Bello, however, said that inspite of the pandemic the Council was working with all other maritime agencies to look into digitalisation of Ports to limit the access of physical contact.
He also said that the Kano State government had voted about N2billion for the structures around Zawachiki Inland Dry Port which has been concession to Dala Dry Port Nigeria limited.