Shippers Council mulls suspension of demurrage payments over gridlock
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, the country’s port economic regulator has said it would seek the suspension of payment of demurrage and other related charges on cargo on behalf of shippers (importers and exporters) over the worsening gridlocks occasioned by the poor state of the port access roads.
Executive Secretary/CEO of the council, Mr. Hassan Bello, who spoke in Lagos, said the terrible condition of the roads has made it impossible for shippers to clear goods from terminals within the statutory three days after which demurrage begins to run as well as return empty containers within the stipulated four days.
Recall that the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi in company of the NSC-boss, Bello, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and Director Maritime Services of the FMOT, Anwul Suleiman had visited the seaports in Lagos to assess the state of the port access roads in Apapa, which are currently in terrible condition with the attendant traffic congestion that hampers cargo movement.,
Bello argued that it would be unfair to continue to compel the shippers to pay demurrage and other related rent charges when actually the poor state of the roads makes it impossible for them to take delivery of their consignments and return empty containers within stipulated time.
It was gathered that the poor condition of the roads has resulted in a standstill traffic around the ports thereby frustrating the ability of the shippers to perform their obligations.