Nigerian economy is losing a whopping $20.4million (N10 billion) annually to towage charges carried out on vessels visiting the nation’s seaports.
LEADERSHIP recalls that vessels towage is an act by which one vessel, known as the tug, supplies power in order to draw another vessel.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 2013-1016 Shipping and Port Related Activities Data, an average of 5200 vessels visited Nigerian Ports yearly and each pay a whopping $3000 for towage service instead of global average of $7000.
It was, however, showed that the NPA generated $15.3million instead of global average of $35.7million losing an average of $20.4million yearly.
The stakeholders in the nation’s matitime industry urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to review its charges on towage saying it’s retrogressive and non-competitive.
The stakeholders who disclosed this yesterday in a chat with LEADERSHIP said charging $3000 for towage service when the global average is $7000 is ridiculous.
They, however, called on the ministry of transportation to review the rates for the nation’s to meet global average.
Speaking, a former director, shipping development, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Capt. Waredi Enisuoh, said NPA is running charity with its service.
According to him, “in terms of harbour operations in Nigeria, NPA is literally operating a charity service when it comes to tugs operation. Whether it is due to cheap local labour or provider, NPA should be highly commended. In western climes, tug rates are very high and charged based on several factors.”
“I dont know how cost will not be jacked up, when diesel was less than N10 when NPA rate was fixed, exchange rates for spare parts purchased abroad was N33 -$1. Given today’s reality maintaining the 1993 cost is not realistic.