THE Nigerian Seafarers Welfare Board has said that a conspiracy by an international shipping cartel has ensured that surcharges are levied on Nigerian bound cargoes due to additional private security arrangements required in the Nigerian maritime environment.

Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report in Abuja, the Chairman of the Board, Otunba Kunle Folarin, said that this cartel is only interested in maintaining their commercial agenda as they pay huge sums of monies to private security companies to escort their vessels in and out of the port they visit.

Folarin further said some of the negative reports on Nigeria are, most times, not true and challenged the credibility of the reports on pirates’ attacks on vessels.
He said: “They are interested in maintaining their commercial agenda and any time they come to this part of the world they believe that they are taking a risk and somebody must pay for the risk.

“That is why we have surcharges levied on Nigeria bound cargoes on top of the freight because it has been widely reported that some of these international shipping firms engage private security companies at a huge cost to escort them at the ports and also to maintain surveillance for them while they are at anchorage waiting to enter the ports.

“That is a cost and somebody must pay for it. Now all these actions they take come from reports from International Maritime Bureau and other bodies of likely unreported or reported incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. “Who is giving this report? Are they real? Are they creditable? If they are real, we should not deny it. We should go and put up a modus operandi in place to tackle the issues”.

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