May void new charges by shipping coys, terminal operators
By Godfrey Bivbere
The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, has decided to effect a 50 percent cut on the registration fees it recently introduced for operators in the maritime sector after consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The breakdown shows that shipping line agencies and seaport terminal operators would now be paying N50,000 down from N100,000, while inland container depot operators will now be paying N25,000 instead of N50,000; warehouse operators, off dock terminal operators, stevedoring companies and cargo consolidators now N10,000 instead of N20,000; freight forwarders, clearing agents and haulage firms which would have been N10,000 will now pay N5,000; and shippers associations will remain at N5,000.
Bello explained that the registration fees introduced by the NSC, unlike other regulators’ fees in the industry, is a one-off payment that would help government in policy formulation and also help rid the sector of quacks.
He stated: “After due consultations with stakeholders, we have reduced the fees substantially. The highest anybody can pay now is N50,000 and the lowest is N5,000 but people should know that this is just a one-off registration.
“We have listened to complaints of stakeholders and we have been able to reduce it.
“On the charges by the shipping companies and terminal operators, we are looking at it. We are going to find out if the charges have already been given to the shippers and other users and we will act decisively as we have always done.
“We will consult with terminal operators and shipping companies and any charge that has not been negotiated with the NSC is termed illegal.”
He also revealed that the Council is in consultation with other stakeholders affected by the new charges introduced by both the terminal operators and the shipping companies.
Recall that the Director of Legal Services, NSC, Samuel Vongtau, had earlier, while announcing the fees, said that the registration will bring sanity to the port environment and reduce congestion.
He had stated: “Once the service providers are registered and known, the number of people entering the port will be reduced. Congestion will be reduced drastically as only the registered service providers will be given access to the port environment. This will lead to increased efficiency in service delivery.
“Knowing the players in the ports in terms of numbers and types of businesses they are doing, financial projections will be made easy as experts would easily know what the sector can generate from the types and number of businesses.”