The President of Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) Rev. Jonathan Nicol has on behalf of his members disagreed with the illegal chargers slamed on Shippers by one of the Shipping companies.
According to a Press statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, “We have read from online Reports that Messrs CGM CMA has introduced $400 dollars for congestion fee per consignment in addition to all other charges now in contest.
While lamenting the suffering Shippers go through at the ports he said SALS has viewed this new charge as arbitrary, unfair and indeed lacking in economic sense since the congestion mentioned above is not caused by Importers and Shippers, respectively.
Speaking further he said, “it is our view that the road congestion of laden trucks with empty containers littered all over the city of Lagos and causing security risks to life and property should be viewed more seriously by the Economic Port Regulator, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Nigerian Ports Authority. The menace of the empty containers on trucks on our highways and suburbs have not only become a nuisance but has posed a terrible security risks on residents along the routes in question”.
“The empty Containers are the property of the Shipping Lines who normally collects container deposits for their boxes in transit. On prompt return of the empty containers, the Importer can claim back his deposit. It is a known fact that empty containers do not have access to the Ports with ease as before. And this is a riddle.
“Agreed the roads are bad. Admittedly, but trucks have access into the Ports, either A papa Main Port or Tin Can Island and PTML ports regularly. And a total of 800 containers are cleared daily from the various ports. How did the trucks get in. To the Ports. Why can’t the trucks carrying more than 800 containers daily have access to the Ports to offload their empty boxes?
“Why should the Importer pay additional fee to offload the property of the Shipping Company in their premises again when all charges have been paid in advance?
“Congestion fee should be passed on to the Shipping Lines and their subsidiaries, the Terminal Operators who receives the empty containers on behalf of their client -the Shipping Company – awaiting export of the empty boxes. It is believed that at least a thousand empty containers should be exported daily since over 800 full loaded containers are delivered to various consignees daily. Shippers’ Association Lagos State is worried and do not want to press charges on all the Port regulators. But these questions needs to be answered”.
Rev Nicol who was very furious about the illegal chargers retorically ask:
“Who pays for the inconveniences of millions of Nigerians in various locations where empty containers and trucks have damaged their normal human lifestyle”?
“The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Trade owe Nigerians explanations why container business is reducing the life span of their citizens and they remain silent.
“It is indeed unfortunate that there is deliberate policy somersault of Government making the Private Service Provider operate under unknown negative regulatory compliance”.
Shippers Association Lagos State will partner with other stakeholders to press for damages to our collective business downturn, destruction of our hard earned infrastructure so and compensation for those who lost their lives in the struggle of delivering empty containers to their rightful owners and also hold the Port Regulators responsible for their inability to induce sanity in the dispensation of their Normal duties.
We are law abiding and cannot continue to pay heavy local transport fare further. The local transport should be made to reduce their unreasonable charges for evacuation of goods from the Ports. If the Shipping Lines are head culpable the Local Transport owners themselves should be help responsible for high cost of doing business in our Ports. The Nigerian Shippers’ Council should please make sure such fees like local transport fare, congestion levy.