Seaport demurrage crisis looms as operators, agents bicker over waiver

Indications are rife that terminal operators and clearing agents are set to clash over what is to be waived on demurrages that have incurred on trapped cargoes inside the ports following the two days seaport strike.

Speaking to the Tribune Online exclusively, a staff of one of the terminal operators who begged that his name is not mentioned in print wondered why agents would determine the amount to be waived when terminal operators were not carried along in the entire seaport strike process.

According to him, “Yes, we are obliged to consider waivers for them over demurrages that have incurred in the last 48 hours that the ports have been closed, but waivers will be on our own terms and not .theirs because we were not consulted before the strike process began.

“Yes we accept that the roads affect our operations as terminal operators, but we were not consulted before the strike commenced on Monday. Our side was not considered by the striking parties, now that demurrages have incurred, they want to tell us what to waive. No it’s not possible.”

In a separate chat with the Tribune Online, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Olayiwola Shittu stated that the association has asked all its chapter leaders to meet with terminal operators and demand for waivers on demurrages.

In his word, “The bad ports access roads are not only the problem of agents or truckers, terminal operators also feel the pain. So we expect them to grant us waivers because the deplorable ports access roads are a problem to all of us, including the terminal operators.”

When asked of what the association will do if the terminal operators refuse to grant waivers, Shittu explained that, “We expect them to grant waivers unconditionally. I won’t want to pre-empt them or their action, but if they don’t, then you will see our next line of action.”