April 17, 2024

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has expressed disappointment over infringement and interference in goods delivery processes at the country’s seaports.

The Council said such infringement and interference have impacted negatively in terms of cargo dwell time, increased charges on imports and extortion.

The Executive Secretary, NSC, Emmanuel Jime, who spoke at a two-day training for maritime police in Lagos, said the issues were responsible for high prices of goods in the market and services in the country.

Jime, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Celine Ifeora, explained that the purpose of the seminar was to enforce compliance with regulations.

Jime frowned on a situation in which Nigerian ports were known for having the reputation of being among the ports with the longest cargo dwell time in the world.

“While it takes only six hours to clear cargo in Singapore and about seven days in Lome, it takes an average of 21 days to do so in Nigeria.

“Long dwell time of cargo renders the ports inefficient, create congestions, increase the cost of doing shipping business and ultimately leads to the high price of goods and services in the economy,” he said.

He disclosed that the target of the Council was to check corruption and ensure that cost of doing business was brought down.

He revealed that the intervention by the council led to the receipt of several reports from the users of port services, among them consignees, freight forwarders, hauliers, about the incessant interference in the cargo clearance processes.

“NSC collaborates with several agencies, including the maritime police to enforce compliance with the established standards to eliminate corruption and bring down costs of doing business in our ports.

“The council had on several occasions carried out investigations on the matter to ascertain the truthfulness or otherwise of the claims, and confirmed that these practices were carried out by various groups,” he said.

The NSC boss disclosed that the outcome of its investigation was what promoted the collaboration with the Police authorities, which led to addressing the complaints received.

He added that the Police authorities have taken some measures to address the issues leading to the appointment of some officers.

According to him, the appointed officers would ensure that due process is followed in case there is any need to request for re-inspection of goods following intelligence reports.

He further said that among the decisions reached with the AIG, Maritime Police command was to build the capacity of the officers on port operations and the role of the police.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sunny Dagana, while addressing officers who took part in the seminar said they should educate others on what they learnt.



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