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#EndSARS Demurrage: Shippers’ Council steps in as agents spoil for war.



Segun Oladipupo    |     

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said it has opened discussions with shipping lines operating in Nigeria over demurrage waivers during the lockdown occasioned by #EndSARS protest that rocked the nation that week.

The Council, in a release on Monday, said that it was working on how to ease the hardship occasioned by the disruption.

Recall that freight forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Governmemt Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100 percent compliance team, had threatened to take on shipping companies and terminal operators who insist on charging demurrage during the period of the disruption.

Tanko Ibrahim, Coordinator of the compliance team, said it would amount to disservice to the agents to charge them for the period under review.

But in the release signed by the Head, Public Relations of NSC, Rekiya Zubair, there was an ongoing discussion between the two parties on removing the demurrage as a way of cushioning the effect of the disruption on freight forwarders and their principals.

The release read, “Activities at Apapa, the port city of Lagos, are gradually returning to normal as Lagos State government has eased the curfew by pronouncing that residents can move freely between the hours of 6am and 8pm.

“No doubt,the activities of the past week caused a lot of disruptions for shippers. Just as it did during the COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerian Shippers Council is working with shipping companies to find ways to ease the hardship occasioned by the disruptions.

“Several discussions are taking place between the leadership of the Council and shipping companies in Nigeria to find ways to accelerate clearing of cargoes from the terminals and collection of same by shippers who were unable to access the ports.

“Both sides are mulling the removal of demurrage charges on cargoes as one of the ways the hardship of shippers can be alleviated.

“The ES/CEO of NSC will also visit some terminals to progress discussions on the waiver and other issues,” it stated.

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