The Association of Shipping Lines Agents of Nigeria (SAN) on Wednesday said it was probing allegations of arbitrary charges imposed on imports by its members, which has made Nigeria’s port expensive and uncompetitive.
Some of the charges imposed on cargoes at the different ports across the country include, empty container deposit, container cleaning charges, container positioning fees among others.
The chairman of SAN, Boma Alabi at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, said the investigation would also reveal the culprits, adding that Nigeria’s port system is poor and the least efficient in West Africa.
She said, “It is true that there are arbitrary charges in Nigeria. Shipping companies have been accused of collecting illegal money. We want to interrogate all these claims to ascertain if the money collected as charges goes to the pocket of our members and if not which of the government agencies is perpetrating the evil and blaming it on shipping companies.
“Our members are foreign companies who operate international best practices. So, I don’t see why the Nigerian case will be any different. I have worked in the UK where the system works,” she added.
Alaba said shippers are working to improve the nation’s export to generate more foreign income. “Our hibiscus, sesame seeds and cocoa are in high demand abroad. If well handled is enough to increase our foreign earnings,” she said.