After facing series of huge subcharges from multinational shipping firms, The Nigerian Federal Government taken a move to protest indiscriminate charges.
Unlike the regular charges, the subcharge of about 400% increase would greatly affect firms, industries, increase unemployment and shrink revenue accruable to the Government.
In a move led by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the stakeholders under the aegis of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and the Nigerian shipping community had a meeting to reason how to figure this out. This meeting was held in Lagos to ponder on how to resist the arbitrary charges.
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The 2020 peak period current charges of between $1,000 and $1,500 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) by shipping firms, is over 400 percent above the previous charge of $200 freight charge per TEU.
However, during the meeting, the Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, said: “the charge is too huge. If a Nigeria-bound container is charged as much as $1,000, then the national economy is in trouble.”
The huge charges could lead to a swift inflation of the Nigerian economy, cargoes will then be forced to be abandoned at the ports; causing unemployment and many shippers will be out of business and affecting shipping firms.
Currently, the situation has being reported to the Ministry of Transportation to escalate it to the Ministry of Trade, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Federal Government will protest the charges.
Furthermore, it’s of note that they have being facing this surcharges in the range of $200 to $400, but 400% static increase without reverting is unbearable for the economy to cope with and might result in more cargoes being abandoned at the ports.
Conclusively, large scale importers such as Dangote Group and Promasidor, also bemoaned the arbitrary charges by shipping companies, expressing their readiness to protest against it by all means. Shipping companies that have been fingered in the arbitrary charges include, Cosco, Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd, and Evergreen shipping.