Progressive Association, Southeast Lagos popularly known as the Ndigbo Amaka and Shippers Association of Lagos have said that over 12,000 imported vehicles are currently trapped at the ports as a result of the ongoing strike action embarked upon by clearing agents over the e-valuation policy introduced recently by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Customs Service.
A week before now, freight forwarders operating at both the Tin-Can Island as well as the Ports and Terminal Multipurpose Limited commands of the Customs began an indefinite strike following the expiration of a 72-hour ultimatum given to the Federal Government to review its electronic valuation system for imported vehicles and cargoes.
According to the association, the trapped vehicles incurred about N600m in demurrages and other charges.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, the President of SALS, Jonathan Nicol, said, “The VIN regime must be discarded and be suspended immediately.
“They must make sure that all the trapped vehicles are given accelerated clearance from the ports without major demurrages because the challenge was not created by importers.
“These 12000 vehicles attract daily demurrages and shipping line charges and that is quite enormous and by the time you quantify how much importers are paying for demurrages; it is amounting to over N600m. We cannot continue to accommodate such expenses anymore.”
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The President, digbo Amaka, Jude Okeke disclosed that freight forwarders have difficulties with the NCS and other government agencies in the clearing of their consignments.
He added that the regime of the VIN should be suspended indefinitely. According to him, government policies are making it impossible for members of his association to pay back loans they use to run their operations.