Big trouble, as more Nigerians sink deeper into poverty
A map of Nigeria

By Godfrey Bivbere

 

There are indications that international shipping lines may have shelved plans to implement the 400 percent hike in peak season surcharges they slammed on Nigeria bound cargoes.

The shipping firms had concluded plans to raise the surcharge to $1,000 per container, from $200.

Following strong opposition by stakeholders in the maritime industry, led by the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, against the hike, the earliest success came yesterday when Maersk Line, world’s leading shipping firm, ordered an immediate stoppage of the new charges. Vanguard learnt that other shipping lines would follow the Maersk lead.

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The decision is contained in a letter signed by Lara Lana, Managing Director of Maersk Nigeria and addressed to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hassan Bello.

The NSC, in a statement signed by its Head of Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu, read in part, “Maersk Line has instructed its commercial department to stop applying the peak season surcharge from 1st September 2020.

“This is in response to protests by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council which recently convened a meeting of the Organized Private Sector to deliberate on the astronomical peak season surcharge imposed by shipping lines calling in Nigeria.

“The Union of African Shippers’ Council, UASC, subsequently backed Shippers’ Council calls for immediate suspension of the peak season surcharge calling it a violation of previous UASC/European Community Ship-owners Association, ECSA, agreement requiring prior, mutual and reasonable notification of UASC and PMAWCA by individual shipping companies before any such imposition of new tariff, surcharges or increase in transport cost,” she noted.

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