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Shippers’ Council threatens to sanction PTOL over arbitrary charges increment 

Abiola Seun

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), on Thursday ,said it will sanction the Port and Terminal Operators (Nig) Limited (PTOL), over arbitrary increase in its charges.

The council, who disclosed this in a press statement by the Head public relations of the Council, Hajia Rekiya Yagboyaju, directed the terminal operator to return to her old rate.

The Acting Executive Secretary of NSC, Ms. Ifeoma Ezedinma, said such acts will attract sanctions as the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, through public notices, visits and correspondences is always advising regulated service providers to obey the law.

Also, citing Clause 5:5 of the lease agreement between Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and PTOL, NPA’s General Manager, Monitoring and Regulatory Service, Mrs. Ugo Madubuike, said the increase in charges was in contradiction of the contractual agreement.

She said, clause 5:5 states, “The lessee shall not make any increase in the operation rate unless agreed to in writing by the parties and any required persons or governmental authority has been obtained”.

NSC and NPA advised PTOL to present their proposed increases for negotiation through official channels as soon as possible.

PTOL’s General Manager, Macpherson Nwaukoni, apologized for the oversight while explaining that the action was taken due to losses the company has incurred in the course of their operations.

These losses, according to him, occurred as a result of the import ban on certain items resulting in the company’s inability to meet it’s obligation to the Lessor, particularly the rental debt they owe to NPA.
He also said the comparison of their rates with other terminals revealed that their own charges are much lower.

The Director, Legal Services Department of NSC Mr. Tahir Idris advised PTOL to obtain documents on NSC’s Legal Framework in order to acquaint itself with the regulatory procedures of tariff increase and to also be guided to ensure they follow right protocol.

The Director, Consumer Affairs, Chief Cajetan Agu insisted that they revert back to their old rates until due process is followed.

He stressed that their action contravened the contracts they signed upon the lease, and as such they violated the Lessor contract and NSC Act.

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