Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello.

The Nigerian Shippers Council, the country’s Port Economic Regulator is currently holding talks with multinational shipping firms operating in Nigeria with a view to waiving demurrage and other similar charges that may have accrued in the last two weeks due to disruptions on port operation as a result of the ENDSARS protests.

This is in line with the council’s efforts at alleviating the challenges faced by shippers (importers and exporters) in the country.

The move by the council is sequel to the gradual return to normalcy in activities at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, both within the port city of Lagos following the decision of the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to relax the curfew by pronouncing that residents can move freely between the hours of 6am and 8pm as against the previous 24-hour shutdown.

Executive Secretary/CEO of the council, Hassan Bello, who spoke in Lagos, Monday, disclosed that several talks are currently ongoing between the managements of the council and those of the various shipping lines on ways to address some of the disruptions occasioned by the ENDSARS protests.

It was also gathered that there are plans for the CEO to lead other top management of the council on a visit to terminal operators to discuss issues around the disruptions on port operations and the need for waivers on charges to alleviate the pains of the shippers.

 “Several discussions are taking place between the managements of the council and shipping companies in Nigeria to find ways to accelerate clearing of cargoes from the terminals and collection of same by shippers who were unable to access the ports. 

“Both sides are also planning the removal of demurrage charges on cargoes as one of the ways to alleviate the hardships on shippers. We will also visit some terminals to firm up discussions on the waiver and other issues.

“Just as we did during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Nigerian Shippers Council is working with shipping companies to find ways to ease the hardship occasioned by the disruptions and delays caused by weeks of youth protests”, the CEO also said.