Shippers’ Council leads assault on hike in freight rates.

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Shippers’ Council leads assault on hike in freight rates.

— says proposed increase will further pauperize Nigerians.

 
Segun Oladipupo   |   
 
The Nigerian Shippers’Council has rallied members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) against what it described as an international conspiracy to subject Covid-19 weary Nigerian importers to further hardship through the proposed hike in freight rates.
 
The protest, led by the Executive Secretary of the agency, Barrister Hassan Bello, was specifically against the hike in Peak Season Surcharge (PSS).

The Council, in a meeting with the stakeholders on Wednesday, described as provocative and unjustifiable, the proposed spike of over  100%  increase freight rates of importing goods from Europe and other parts of the world to Nigeria during the period.
 
Barrister Bello said the surcharge would have adverse effects on the economy of the country.

He therefore advocated for the immediate withdrawal of what he described as unethical charges which is not transparent for shipping competition.

Bello explained that the surcharge was unjustifiable, astronomical, unbearable and would worsen the poverty level and unemployment rate in Nigeria.

He called for the support of private sector players and other maritime agencies saying that  “doing business in Nigeria is a nightmare”

“Surcharge that we are not a party to,  a surcharge that is not transparent, a surcharge that is unjustifiable, astronomical and unbearable is a surcharge we can’t accept because it goes to the root of our economy.

“We are doing this together with relevant stakeholders, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Traders, Freight Forwarders, Shippers …  everybody should come on board because if this surcharge is allowed, there will be a serious negative impact on the economy.

“It will worsen poverty situation after the little recovery we have made from Covid-19 and it will worsen unemployment and inflationary trend for consumers.

He added that no reason was adduced to the increment, “If I know the reason, I would have been happy but just a matter of demand and supply that we have to pay more for goods coming from Europe. It is against international trade practices

Speaking further, the NSC boss suggested an alternative way of paying the container deposit charged by shipping lines, saying it would be better to pay for insurance instead of outright deposit by Shippers and their agents.

Bello said, “The container deposit is not for stopping but for ease of doing business … What we said was that the container deposit regime has been draining administratively, financially and it will frustrate the ease of doing business. We are looking for other options.

“If we replace container deposit with certain insurance arrangements, that will be beautiful just like it is done in other countries,” he submitted.

The meeting had in attendance players from Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) NACCIMA, LCCI, ANLCA, NAGAFF and Shipper Association of Lagos State (SALS).

Others include representatives from Dangote Groups, Promassidor Group,  and UNILEVER 

The stakeholders assured to work closely with the Council in a bid to kick against the alleged global conspiracy

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