By Godfrey Bivbere
Following the nationwide protest tagged, #EndSARS, which disrupted port operations, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, is pushing demurrage waiver for consignments trapped at the ports.
To this end, NSC is in discussion with shipping companies and terminal operators for the actualisation of the demurrage waiver.
In a press statement made available to Vanguard Maritime Report, Head of Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu, noted that the move by the Council is aimed at easing the hardship occasioned by the disruptions.
Zubairu also noted that the Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hassan Bello, would soon embark on a working visit to some of the terminals to ensure actualisation of the demurrage waiver.
She also pointed out that with the easing of the curfew by the Lagos State government, normalcy is gradually returning to the ports in Lagos.
According to the statement, “No doubt the activities of the past week caused a lot of disruptions for shippers. Just as it did during the COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerian Shippers Council is working with shipping companies to find ways to ease the hardship occasioned by the disruptions.
“Several discussions are taking place between the leaderships of the Council and shipping companies in Nigeria to find ways to accelerate clearing of cargoes from the terminals and collection of same by shippers who were unable to access the ports.
“Both sides are mulling the removal of demurrage charges on cargoes as one of the ways the hardship of shippers can be alleviated.
“The Executive Secretary of NSC will also visit some terminals to continue discussions on the waiver and other issues.”
Similarly, president of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Lucky Amewiro, also noted that it is a global practice for goods subjected to dispute and investigative process are granted waiver by removing cost associated with the delays.
According to him, “The legal and global process on goods subject to Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) and investigative process are granted waiver by removing cost associated with the delays, which is one of the major cause of demurrage and rent and the abandonment of Cargo by Importer/Licensed Customs Agents (LCA).”