Demurrages payable by owners of cargoes trapped inside the ports in Lagos has spiralled to about N1,336,986,301 following the continuous strike action of truckers and agents which is now into its second day. This is even as industry statistics revealed that importers pay N668, 493, 150 daily as demurrages to shipping companies and terminal operators anytime their cargoes remain trapped inside the ports.
It would be recalled that truckers and agents withdrew their services on Monday at the seaports in Lagos following complaints of perennial bad and deplorable seaports access roads.
Speaking to the Tribune Online on Tuesday in Lagos, Spokesman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Ezenga Stanley declared that the service withdrawal action of truckers and agents is still on in its second day.
According to him, “The strike is still on. We told government representatives that until we see caterpillars mobilised to failed portions of the roads, we won’t suspend the strike. And we are yet to see any caterpillar mobilised to site, so strike continues.”
According to an industry Report by leading financial audit firm, Akintola Williams Deloitte titled: Public Private Partnership (PPP) as an anchor for diversifying the Nigeria economy: A Case Study of Lagos Container Terminals Concession; Nigerian importers and exporters now save about $800 million (N244 billion) annually, which, hitherto, was paid to shipping companies as congestion surcharge.
The Document further explained that the demurrage payment of about N244bn is saved by importers due to increased ship traffic and throughput, eradication of ship waiting time at the container terminals, reduction of Vessel turnaround time from five days to 41 hours, and reduction of dwell time for cargoes from over 30 days to just 14 days.
With the strike in its second day, importers are currently indebted to shipping companies and terminals operators billions of Naira as demurrages payable for the long stay of their cargoes inside the ports.
As at the time of filing in this report, the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and Tin-Can Island Port Complex were still shut and devoid of cargo clearance activities due to the strike action of the seaport users.