Business

June 19, 2024

How multinational shipping lines frustrates growth of African counterparts

Shipping

By Godfrey Bivbere 

African shipping stakeholders have accused their foreign counterparts of using fellow Africans to ensure that the continent’s shipping capacity does not grow.

The stakeholders explained that these foreign shipping lines who are afraid of competition from their African counterparts and as such do everything within their power to ensure that the shipping sector does not grow in the continent, especially in the West and Central African sub-region.

Speaking of the activities of foreign shipping lines, former President of them Indigenous Ship owners Association, ISAN now Nigeria Ship owners Association, NISA, Isaac Jolapamo, first raised the alarm when cried out over a decade ago that the foreign shipping lines were planning to kill shipping in the sub-region.

Jolapamo said then that they have succeeded in crippling shipping activities in most countries in the sub-region and were aiming to do same in Nigeria.

This was the period when practitioners like himself, Capt Emmanuel Ihenacho, then secretary of ISAN, Niyi Labinjo and others ship owners held swell. 

A few years later, each of the above mentioned, except Capt. Ihenacho who cleverly divested to oil and gas; lost their investment.

Similarly, Frank Ankomah of the Freight and Logistics Department of the Ghana Shippers Authority, GHA said international shipping lines are slamming unusual changes on shippers in the sub-region. The GHA official called for collaboration between the Ghana and Nigeria to fight against such charges.

Ankomah, who was part of a delegation from Ghana that visited the Nigerian Shippers Council, recently noted that while these foreign shipping lines charge shippers in Europe and America based on bill of laden, they charge shippers in the sub-region based on Twenty Equivalent Units, TEUs which in the long is more expensive.

He further noted that the foreign shipping lines charge as much as $170 per TEU, stressing that multiplication of $170 by 100 TEUs gives a total of $17,000. He said that should Nigeria and Ghana succeed in correcting the above abnormally, the cost of doing business at the ports will be reduced.

Speaking recently at a press briefing in Lagos, Managing Director of Kings Communications, publishers MMS Plus Newspaper, Kingsley Anaroke, described the activities of some global players in the Blue and Marine industry as “Economic hit men,” who specializes in frustrating local operations for their benefit.

He noted that these people engages Nigerians to work against any policy that should have been beneficial to the nation for the personal interest of such Nigerians.