By YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said indifators have shown that Nigeria Seaports ranked as the most expensive in West and Central Africa.
This was disclosed by the Director, Monitoring and Compliance of the Council at a one day national conference on Fast-tracking Ports reforms tagged, ‘Making Nigerian Seaports world class’ and organised by the Vintage press Limited.
Speaking at the conference, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr Hassan Bello said performance indicators set Nigerian ports as the most expensive in the sub-region.
Giving the analysis, Bello who was represented by the Deputy Director, Commercial Shipping Department, Cajetan Agu, said cargo dwell time of vessels at Nigerian ports is 14 days while ports of neighboring countries have a lesser dwell time.
He also pointed out demurrage free period which he said Nigeria has lowest among its contemporaries in Africa. “It takes three days to clear cargo from Lome, seven days in Cotonou, four days in Durban in South Africa and five days to clear cargo out of Kenyan ports.
“The free days given to importers before accumulating demurrage in Nigeria is five days while it is 10 days in Benin Republic. It takes 10 days in Cameroon and China to enjoy free period before the accumulation of demurrage starts to count.’’
Bello said that what importers needed from the port were the availability of service and common users’ information, safety of cargo and right pricing.He said that the council had recommended that the federal government should strengthen the regulatory framework in Nigerian ports.
The director also spoke on the need for government agencies to collaborate towards ensuring port efficiency at reduced costs. “There is also the need for ports to be fully automated with the establishment of a single window platform,” he said.
Bello noted that the platform had the capability for reducing the cargo dwell time from 40 days to 10 days.