Terminal Operators, Shipping Coys succumb to pressure —- refund N60m Illegal charges to Importers 

Abiola Seun


Terminal operators and shipping companies have finally caved into the pressure mounted by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’Council over the extra charges made of importers by the Operators during the grace period under the Covid-19 lockdown.

Consequently, the shipping companies and terminal Operators have refunded a cumulative sum of N60million to importers as demurrage and storage charges erroneously charged during the lockdown, while others are still being processed.
Recall that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) have directed terminal and shipping companies to stop collection of storage and demurrage charges from importers during the lockdown.

However, the  Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) said over the weekend that it has helped her members secured refund of N60million in rent charges paid during the pandemic.

The Association also disclosed that it has submitted the receipt of about 375 members of the Association who are qualified for further refund to the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).

In a chat with journalists, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Mr. Babatunde Mukaila said about 375 list of members who met the criteria for refund have been submitted to the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) for process of refund with 100 already processed and refunded.

According to him “We have to do what I called arbitration because it is only few of the shipping lines that accepted to do that, so what we have done is to back up all these and put it at the complaint department of NSC and we as well copied the MD of NPA, at the last count I think we should have close to 300 of our members that met the cut-off because there were criteria that the shipping line and terminal operators applied, and close to about 100 of them have gotten their refunds and those that are still having difficulty, we have dropped at the doorstep of NSC though the 300 are those ones who have come forward.

“You know the directive of NSC says from the beginning of COVID to terminate at may 3rd, that of NPA said from march 2 to terminate at April 27 so it’s very clear, once you are within that period you are likely to get it.100 have gotten while 200 are still hanging last week we submitted additional 75,” he said.

He informed that the refund for the 100 members would amount to about N60 million naira.

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