The Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS) has commended the managements of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for securing demurrage waivers to cover the period of the compulsory lockdown due to the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.
The President of the association, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Nicol who made the commendation in a statement in Lagos on Saturday stated that the situation on ground called for concerted efforts from port managers, especially the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Nicol also said that the lockdown made it impossible for shippers’ through their agents to pay customs duties as expected since banks were shut down as well and factories and offices were shut.
“So, there were gross limitations on the shippers to do the needful. It was a national lockdown that no one could violate. It is still prevailing. Shippers should not be sanctioned for a situation that is no fault of theirs. The period of demurrages has no distinction. Rather, the government gave the incentive as palliative for shutting down our businesses for one month. Amount of losses is more than N5 trillion”, he said.
He however appealed to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to prevail on the Standards Organization of Nigerian (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to emulate NPA by waiving their handling charges on cargo for the period of battling the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic as their offices were shut as well.
“We salute the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria and the freight forwarders for their sacrifices and continued monitoring of ports activities during this period. We believe a lot of empty containers would have been evacuated as well to ease movement of trucks in and out of the Apapa ports.
“May we all come together to make our ports environment enviable by doing the right things always. We suggest that shippers who were able to clear their cargo during this period and paid demurrages to the terminal and shipping operators should provide the receipt of payment and photo stat copies of their Terminal Delivery Order. We will approach the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to ensure that you get a refund”, he admonished.
Photo: President, Shippers’ Association Lagos State, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Nicol.
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