By Godfrey Bivbere
The nation’s port economic regulator, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, has commenced moves to expose terminal operators and shipping companies still involved in the collection of illegal charges on port users despite the order of the federal high court delivered last month.
To this end, the Council in collaboration with importers and the various customs brokers/freight forwarders has directed the compilation of such collections of illegal charges with evidence from them by the terminal operators and shipping companies.
The Council’s decision is not unconnected with allegation that the terminal operators have been collecting those charges which the Federal High Court Ikoyi stopped them from collecting in December last year.
Vanguard gathered that the NSC is considering either to publish the names of offenders or head back to law court. However, a source at the Council said that it intends to bring the full weight of the law against all those who chose to go contrary to the court order but was not forthcoming on exactly what the action would be.
The source explained that at the right time all illegal charges collected by the affected shipping companies and terminal operators would be refunded. He advised those affected to continue to compile the evidence.
The source also said that the Council has directed it’s Consumer Complaints Unit, CCU, to visit all the ports with the aim of interacting with importers and customs brokers to obtain from them evidence of the illegal charges being collected by the shipping companies and terminal operators.
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Hassan Bello, said that he has so much to say on the issue but stressed that he cannot comment on it because the matter is in court Reacting to the above, President of Nigerian Shippers’ Association, Jonathan Nicol argued that since the shipping companies and terminal operators applied to the court for ‘stay of execution of the order’ after the judgment, they ought to have waited until their application is granted.