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Strike: Importers incurred N90,000 daily demurrage on cargoes

The organised private sector as well as some freight forwarders have incurred huge costs amounting to millions of naira over the two-day nationwide industrial action…

The organised private sector as well as some freight forwarders have incurred huge costs amounting to millions of naira over the two-day nationwide industrial action embarked upon by the organised labour.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) grounded commercial activities at the nation’s seaports in line with the directive of organised labour.

Both NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had embarked on strike over attack on the President of NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero.

However, some importers who spoke to our correspondent on the impact of the closure of the seaports, said they have suffered huge financial losses as a result of the industrial action.

Public Relations Officer of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agents (ANLCA), Tin-Can Island Chapter, Comrade Onome Monije, said agents are yet to reconcile the amount incurred as a result of the strike.

She said consignments that were due to be cleared and got trapped as a result of the closure would definitely incur demurrage.

“Over stayed cargo incurs about N90,000 per day. We are appealing to the government to direct shipping companies and terminal operators to grant us a waiver for the two days.

“As you can see, today has gone. Labour called off the strike late last night and some of us were not aware until Thursday morning. When you add today to the two days the port was closed, it will make three days. N90, 000 multiplied by three days makes about N270,000. If you input it into the already huge cost of customs duty you will know what I mean,” she added.

Subaru Abdul, another clearing agent, wants the government to direct shipping companies and terminal operators to grant them waivers for the two days.

Customs Controller in charge of Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, while speaking on phone with our Correspondent, said the strike has affected the daily revenue collections of the command.

Though he did not give the actual daily figure of the collections, he stated that the command was still reviewing the daily impact of the protest on the command’s revenue.

The Service had earlier in the year given the Tin-Can Island Command a revenue target of N801 billion for the year 2023.

As at September 2023, the revenue collected by the command stood at 52 per cent, it was learnt.

Similarly, Apapa Command of the Service was given a revenue target of about N1.5 trillion while as at October 2023 the revenue collected, according to Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, Customs Controller Apapa Command, stood at about N900 billion.

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