Importers Lose N1.7bn On Container Deposit Yearly
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, on Tuesday said importers lose the sum of N1.7 billion annually on container deposit to shipping companies.
Bello disclosed this at the end of a meeting of all Chief Executive Officers of Maritime Agencies, which held at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
The meeting was to fashion out ways to solve the mileage of problems militating against smooth operations of the Port.
“Shippers pay N120,000 for container deposits which is about N1.7 billion every year and this is adding to the cost of doing business and this is not the fault of the shipper but because he cannot return the container within the specified time, the roads are clogged, the holding bays are not working so how can he bear that risk.”
Bello described the amount as outrageous as he assured of ending the practice by the first quarter 2021. The council’s helmsman was also hopeful that port operations would become seamless if all guidelines put forward by the Chief Executive Officers are followed.
While Bello blamed the lack of holding bays and the gridlock at the port premises for the losses, he said NSC was discussing with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to get insurance for shippers to cover the cost of containers.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, said no port system can be efficient without a multi-modal transport system.
“No matter what PTF does to address the traffic gridlock, if all port stakeholders and the government do not recognize the need to deploy multimodal transport system the gridlock would remain.
“We can’t decongest a port location with over 1.3 million containers by road. We must fast track the process of multimodal transport system and this government is keen in prioritizing that,” Usman said.
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, who doubled as the Chairman of the meeting revealed that the Deep Blue project that is expected to address Nigeria’s maritime security issues should be operational by September or October.
“One of the issues discussed at the meeting is about the port community system. We have agreed to set up a committee that will look into the operation of the port community system.
“We also discussed the 24hours operation of our ports; we observed that port efficiency and effectiveness cannot be achieved without 24hours port operation.”