…still collects demurrage from importers
By Godfrey Bivbere
Shipping companies are ignoring directives by the taskforce set up by the Vice President on the decongestion of the port access roads, as they have continued to collect demurrage from importers and their agents for empty containers dropped at the approved holding bays by the taskforce.
Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that the taskforce had directed importers and their agents to drop their empty containers at designated holding bays around the port axis and a receipt to that effect is given to such importer and the agent to process claims.
However, our investigation revealed that the shipping companies are refusing to honour the receipts claiming that they have not received such empty containers since they are not returned to their own holding bay.
A source who spoke with Vanguard Maritime Report on the issue said that the shipping companies collect between N7,000 and N10,000 daily on every container.
The source said that the shipping companies seem to be above the law as they have refused to subject themselves to the federal government’s appointed port economic regulator, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC.
The source further discussed that holding bays presently being used by the taskforce is almost filled up and that is why the container laden trucks seems to be resurfacing on the roads.
“Every container you see on the road there are empty, all those holding bays they have been using are almost filled up that is why you see the truck lining up again and each container you are seeing on that road, they are collecting demurrage of between N19,300 to N20,000 every day.
“Shipping companies are still collecting demurrage for all those containers that are lining on the roads and that is why they don’t bother about what is happening to us.