The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has directed all terminal operators to suspend all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments, otherwise known as demurrage.
The suspension of the charges, according to a statement by the NPA spokesperson, Jatto Adams, is for an initial period of 21 days effective March 23, 2020.
“This gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposes on businesses, the responsibility imposed on the Authority to relief this burden on its customers as well as attaining the objective of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business Policy at this trying period.”
The statement said the NPA management recognises “the financial implications of these policies on the terminal operators and will consider a shift in our operational charges to ameliorate the situation of stakeholders”.
In another development, the NPA management has announced the donation of Agura Hotel in Abuja for use as an isolation centre for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NPA, the largest shareholder of the hotel, said the decision was reached in consultation with other shareholders of the hotel.
The 130-bed facility is located along Muhammadu Buhari Way in Abuja.
“This is a social responsibility initiative aimed at supporting efforts of the Federal Government to contain the spread of the virus in Nigeria,” Mr Adams said in a statement.