Shippers Council and NIMASA tackle arbitrary charges by shipping companies –
By Godfrey Bivbere
The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, announced yesterday that they will challenge arbitrary charges backed by international shipping companies for ships arriving in the country.
The position of the two agencies was known in Lagos when the NSC management team led by the Executive Secretary / Managing Director, CEO, Hassan Bello, paid a working visit to the Managing Director of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh.
Bello said, “We want to eliminate most of these surcharges that hurt our business.
Surcharges are meant to be temporal to deal with unusual situations, but some have become permanent like war risk accusations which I am sure the Director General (Jamoh) will know that as soon as we resolve the security issue, war risk charges will be going.
“But more importantly, we need our two organizations to work side by side to make sure we know what these surcharges are, as these surcharges are set unilaterally and sometimes arbitrarily without knowledge, without consent or even by informing the people who pay these fees, especially shippers in Nigeria and sometimes those in West Africa.
“You might remember the battle we had last year to stop the high season supplement which would have been a lot of money, but when we all got together we were at least able to shut down the app. general for cargo entering the country, if not with the Covid-19 and these accusations, we could have an inflationary trend which could affect our economy and which is not good, ”he noted.
Commenting, NIMASA Director General Bashir Jamoh said the number of attacks on visiting vessels had dropped significantly since the government’s cancellation of the Secure Anchor Zone, SAA.
Jamoh noted that attacks on ships have gone from one a day to one in two or three months.
In his words, “The Executive Secretary (Bello) mentioned war risk insurance; we had about six attacks per week, or an average of one attack per day.
“Since the cancellation of the SAA to date, we have only recorded two attacks. This means that we are getting to the point where we can say that in two or three months we have only registered one attack.
“We are working to aggregate the attacks for six months to be able to generate the number of attacks to challenge the international community why we should continue to pay war risk insurance in Nigeria.
“We are quietly observing what is happening and we will not question, we will not fight the international community but we will monitor our data.”