• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Shippers’ Council saves economy N3.3bn loss to vessel demurrage in 2021

Shippers’ Council set to hold seminar for Judges in July

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said on Tuesday that it has saved Nigerian importers from paying about N3.3 billion (equivalent to $6.54 million) as demurrage to oceangoing vessels in the last year, resulting from delays in clearance.

Emmanuel Jime, the executive secretary and CEO of NSC, who disclosed this in Lagos during a meeting with selected journalists as part of activities to mark his one year in office.

He said the Nigerian economy would have been losing an average of $20, 000 per day, if not for the proactive strategies of the Council that helped in saving the same between 2020 and 2021.

Delays in doing business in the nation’s seaport have been leading to payment of billions of naira worth of demurrage by cargo owners to shipping companies, which makes Nigerian port one of the most expensive ports to do business in the region. This is why this development if sustained will bring succor to port users and consumers.
According to him, the Council instituted the mandatory joint boarding and clearing of vessels by government agencies, which helped to reduce the delays shipping liners experience in Nigerian ports, thereby helping to reduce demurrages paid on Nigerian-bound cargoes.

He noted that such action was carried out by the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) instituted to implement the provisions of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual.

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Jime further said that the Council has been able to reduce the average time for resolving complaints lodged by ship owners with regards to vessel infractions from seven to 10 days to between 1 to 4 hours.

“More than 85 percent of vessels that called at Nigerian ports in 2021 left without any incident, which was not the case in the past,” Jime said.

On the compliance with the Joint Cargo Examination by all government agencies involved in cargo clearance, which is another function of PSTT, Jime said the exercise has helped to increase the number of cargoes examined per day from 125 container boxes per terminal to an average of 230 container boxes daily.

“The implementation of the Port Manual has facilitated the ease of doing business in our ports and has drastically reduced corruption tendencies,” he added.

On complaints handling and resolution, the NSC boss said in 2021, the Council received and handled 518 complaints from cargo owners and another 100 complaints in the first quarter of 2022.

“In 2021, the Council was able to recover over N1 billion in 2021 and another N18.5 million in the first quarter of 2022 were saved for stakeholders by the Council. The Council is currently working on compilation and analysis of complaints handled in the second quarter of the year 2022,” Jime said.