Stop port charges without consulting NSC, Bello urges NPA, others

The executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, has urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and other government agencies in the ports to stop introducing port charges without consulting the port economic regulator.

Speaking on the sideline of the 3rd Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive Forum, Bello revealed that 35 percent of the charges being collected by the shipping lines will be gone by next month.

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According to the NSC boss,  “We are actually competing with the cost and demurrages at our ports. Thirty five per cent of the shipping line charges will be removed by next month, so I am appealing to STOAN to also come on board so that there would be a reduction of cost at our ports.

“There is also responsibility with the private sector to create a conducive atmosphere for their operations. The operating atmosphere in Nigeria is harsh. The government must improve its infrastructure. The problem we are having is that we only have one mode of transport at the ports, and this is not good.

“We need also to check the excesses of government agencies especially their charges. The NPA has no right to make any charge without references to the Shippers Council; likewise Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Twhey don’t have the right to introduce any charges at the ports unless they discuss with the NSC. But these things happen and are affecting the maritime sector.”