The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has moved to halt the imposition of arbitrary port tariffs and charges on Nigeria bound cargos by shipping companies and terminal operators.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello, gave the hint at an interactive session with terminal operators and shipping lines in Lagos. Bello, who described the move as a step to introduce transparency in seaport operations, said the introduction of arbitrary tariffs and port charges by liners and terminal operators was impacting negativity on the economy of the nation.
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NSC, in August 2020, directed all shipping firms to stop the arbitrary charges imposed on transportation of cargo to off-dock terminals, describing the act as unethical and unacceptable.
Reacting to the 2020 directive, the shipping companies and terminal operators had gone to court challenging the powers of the council to set and regulate tariffs collection.
Speaking at the meeting, the executive secretary, who was represented by the Director, Regulatory Service of the council, Ifeora Ezedinma, noted that the actions of the service providers was having negative effect on the performance of the maritime sector
“The move is to help instill a culture of transparency in the cost of service charged by operators and address the issues of arbitrary charges in the industry.”
The council, however, gave a two weeks’ window period to all service providers to study and come up with recommendations.
The service providers in their responses, called on the council to align the guidelines with that of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to avoid duplication.