By Godwin Oritse
The leadership of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, has said that shipping companies operating in Nigeria are making more money from the collection of Container Deposit Fees than their core business of shipping services they offer.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos last week, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, said the agency has also commenced moves to stop the payment of the container deposit fee by Nigerian importers and their agents.
Jime who described the payment and collection of container deposit fee as oppressive and short of being a fraud stated: “The Shippers’ Council takes this container deposit regime as presently operated as oppressive. I do not want to use the word fraudulent but that appears to me what it seems to be.
“I think that shipping companies appears to me to be the one wanting to do container deposit more than the act of business of shipping itself.
“Think about and you work the math and you see the figures that have been reeled out in regards to this matter, you will find that people are making a lot more money from this container deposit regime than they probably would have been making if they were actually in the business of shipping.
“There is an incentive there in my own opinion for these people to want to continue the system as it is; therefore, we must stop it.
“One of the things we have already put in place as a mechanism for dealing with it is obviously the container deposit insurance scheme that we are working out with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, our parent ministry together
with some insurance companies.
“We are putting together a regime that we believe will ultimately address this container deposit fee challenge in a lot better and more efficient way and off course in a way that is even more profitable as far as the shipping community is concerned.
“At the moment we would have gone very far but there are some intricacies, sometimes in the interest of being careful how you give out information, I can only say that in the process of working together with our Ministry to reconcile some of the clear areas of disagreement that we seem to be having.”