Exorbitant cargo charges behind delay at ports — Shippers council scribe

Long delays in getting imported goods cleared at the country’s ports have been traced to the high fees charged by the cargo handling agencies at the country’s ports.

To facilitate the realisation of the Federal Government’s target of a 48-hour clearance of imports, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Hassan Bello, on Monday appealed to terminal operators to review their charges to hasten the process of cargo clearance.

Mr. Bello made the appeal during a familiarisation visit to ENL Consortium and Ports and Cargo Handling Services, PCHS, in Apapa, Lagos.

According to the NSC scribe, as an economic regulator, the Council was determined to ensure the concession of the terminals increased productivity to the benefit of all port users.

He said that it was important to eliminate unnecessary charges, rent seeking, delays in delivery of cargoes and under-the-counter dealing that hindered efficient transactions at the ports.

The NSC chief said that activities of terminal operators should be coordinated and streamlined to ensure efficiency and transparency.

Besides, he said the aim of the visit was to give NSC free access to the terminals and provide information that would enable the Council to carry out its duties effectively.

“This will give us the opportunity to monitor and coordinate activities in the terminals within the terms of the government. We (NSC) also need the operators to give us information that will help us to measure the level of terminal efficiency. We want operators to handle more cargoes and generate more revenue to the benefit of all,” Mr. Bello said.
He urged the operators to inform the Council of their challenges to enable it work out ways to assist them.

The General Manager, ENL Consortium, Mark Walsh, expressed happiness with the Council’s visit, adding that without the Council’s assistance, transactions at the port would have been very challenging.

The General Manager said that the NSC should issue directives to the operators to fast-track transactions at the ports, adding that ENL Consortium would do all within its capacity help the NSC achieve its objectives.


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