Foreign shipping companies calling at the Lagos seaports pay a Whopping $100,000 (N46.5million at prevailing rate of N465/$) each at anchorage before they can berth their vessel for discharging of their cargoes, LEADERSHIP checks have revealed.
Congestion has hit Nigerian seaports due to inability of clearing agents to evacuate cargoes from the Lagos seaports -Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports because of COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of land borders.
This has resulted in Lagos bound vessels spending at least 50 days at anchorage before they could berth at Apapa port or 25 days before they could berth at Tin-Can Island port.
However, each vessel pays $2, 000 each day to stay at private Anchorage due to the insecurity on the nation’s waters.
Confirming the longer stay of vessels at anchorage, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barr Hassan Bello said abandonment of containers at the port by importers was responsible for longer stay of vessels at anchorage.
According to him, importers have turned Nigerian ports that were supposed to be a transit point to warehouses thereby making it impossible for vessels to find space to discharge cargoes.
Bello who spoke through the Council’s director, Regulators Service, Mrs Ijeoma Ezedinma, said, “Vessels are now made to wait for about 50 days at Lagos Anchorage before they are called in to berth at the designated Terminal.
“We are not supposed to have containers stacked inside the ports. The ports have been converted into warehouses because most owners of these consignments are not coming forward.
“During the lockdown, a lot of warehouses were locked. These accounts for why importers are reluctant to come forward.”
Corroborating the Shippers Council’s boss, the vice president of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Mr Kayode Farinto lamented the high cost of security charges paid by shipping companies at anchorage.
He informed that shipping companies pay as much as $2, 000 per day at anchorage for security stating that it takes close to 50 days at anchorage for a vessel to anchor before it berths at APMT terminal, while it takes 25 days for a vessel heading to TICT.
He said, “Also, when a vessel calls in our water, let’s say APMT, it takes 55 days to call, If it is TICT, 25 days. Once a vessel enters our water, it is the job of the NPA to escort you but there is a place they anchor vessels called Secure Anchorage and they pay $2, 000 a day for a secured anchorage.
“The question is: who takes that money?” He went on to say that the issue of OMSL, the senate investigated and directed the suspension of Secure Anchorage is still in place and they are still collecting charges for a responsibility that should be carried out by NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy.
“I am one of the people that believe that the shipping companies are the major problem in the country, I am shifting grounds in view of what I have seen. The blame doesn’t go to them alone, chunk of it goes to government agencies as well”.
He however stated that the high charges slammed on shipping companies should not be a justification for their failure to have holding bays.
He continued: “Imagine if you have 500 container on a vessel, how much that will be. Now Nigeria is an empty containers dump site. Why would Shipping Companies abandon their containers? A container
cost about $10,000 to build abroad. Minimum Freight is $2000.
“So if a container goes five times in a year, it has covered the money used in buying it. Logically, no marketer would abandon his container here.
“There are some shipping companies without holding bays. For example, assuming the Maersk line brings in 5000 TEUs every month, do they have holding bays for 5000 empty containers?
“The answer is No. The problem has been either Maersk line or APMT. On the other hand, they may not be having much of a problem. If a vessel calls on a water, on each container they charge N136,000 (container charges for Shipping Companies) and when you are unable to return their container, they start slamming charges on you that’s when you start depleting your deposit”.
COVID-19: Domestic Flights Resume At Lagos Airport
Police Arrest Bandit, Wife With 2 AK 47 Rifles In Kebbi
Insecurity: Yusuf Donates Patrol Vehicles To Kogi Police
Troops Kill 17 Terrorists, Loses 2 Soldiers In Damboa Ambush – DHQ
Alleged N471m Fraud: Court Fixes Oct. 20 For Ex-Hos, Oyo-Ita’s Trial
CSO Supports Henrich Akomolafe Initiative Project in Ekiti
FIRS Extends Tax Debt Payments To Aug. 31
NEWS23 hours ago
JUST IN: PMB Suspends EFCC Boss, Magu
NEWS19 hours ago
Head Of Service Urges Reversal Of NASS Salary Structure
COVER STORIES7 hours ago
Top Police Officers Lobby To Take Over From Magu
NEWS18 hours ago
774,000 Jobs: Again, Kayamo Disagree With Senate Over Execution Of Programme
LAW22 hours ago
PMB Seeks Senate Confirmation Of 11 Judges, Others
NEWS19 hours ago
National Commission For Persons With Disability In Process – Farouq
EDUCATION22 hours ago
WAEC Says PPE Required For Supervisors, Inadequate Preparation Not Excuse To Cheat
NEWS24 hours ago
BREAKING: Ondo Assembly Serves Deputy Governor Impeachment Notice