The Shippers Council undertakes to abolish the container lockers invoiced by shipping companies

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said it was working with relevant stakeholders to end collection of container depots from importers and agents by shipping companies.

The Executive Secretary / CEO of the NSC, the Hon. Emmanuel Jime revealed it on Sunday during a dinner with some media officials in Lagos.

It is believed that Nigerian importers and their agents pay up to 16 billion naira per year in container depots to shipping companies. Although the deposit is supposed to be refundable, it is usually never fully refunded by the shipping companies as they waive various charges such as the cost of cleaning, repair and demurrage of containers.

Jime said removing container depots would reduce the burden of the high cost of doing business in ports for Nigerians. He said a new insurance scheme would be introduced by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to replace controversial container depots.

The boss of the NSC also denounced the high number of checkpoints set up by the Nigeria Customs Service and other security agencies on the access roads to the port. He said there were at least 10 checkpoints on a mile-long stretch of road from Park Lane in Apapa to the Marine Bridge in Ijora, Lagos, a situation he said was unacceptable to the NSC.

Jime said that within five months of taking office as Executive Secretary / CEO of the NSC, the Council received 171 complaints of which it successfully resolved 82 and recovered around 900 million Naira for the complainants.

“My hope is that by the end of the first quarter of the next one, we would have resolved all outstanding complaints,” he said.

Jime also assured that the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) program, which was abolished in 2011, would be reintroduced next year to keep an eye on all cargo entering Nigeria “from port of origin to port of destination”. He said the reintroduction of CTN would improve revenue collection on imports and strengthen the country’s security apparatus, as dangerous and harmful goods will be detected before they enter the country.

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