Shippers’ Council saves N80m excess charges, attributes cargo diversion to corruption

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From Fatima Bukar and Halima Abdulkadir, Abuja.
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has identified corruption in the nation’s sea ports and high port charges by terminal operators and shipping companies as reasons why cargoes are diverted to neighbouring countries.
The port economic regulator in recent years has engaged in serious confrontation with shipping firms and terminal operators over excessive and illegal charges to the tune of over N4 trillion. Some cases are still subject to litigation.
The Deputy Director Compliance Monitoring, NSC, Cajethan Agu who disclosed this during a lecture titled “Nigerian Shippers’ Council as an Interventionist Agency”, at a one day seminar for journalists in Lagos, said money which was recovered   from demurrages, storage charges, excessive charges and others illegal collections had since been returned to their owners.
He said: “Between January and now, we’ve gotten up to N80 million. If you translate the $23,000 that COSCO paid, it’s up to N10 million and don’t forget, we carried enforcement at GAC, there was a refund because almost 30 containers which were held captive were released.
“It’s only the Company CEO that will give you the breakdown but I know that between January and June, we got a refund amounting to more than N80 million”.

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