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 The role of Shippers’ Council as arbiter between Shippers and Service providers.


Segun Oladipupo         

Contrary to widely-held view  that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), the port economic regulator, is doing little or nothing to curb the arbitrary charges in the port by operators, information available to nigeriamaritime360.com shows that the Council has done so much in this regard.

In several reports exclusively obtained by  our correspondent, NSC has been bashed by port users who probably are not privy to the efforts being made daily by the economic regulator to stem any illegality by operators and importers alike.

In the third and fourth quarters of 2018, the Council,according to the record obtained by this platform, handled about 150 cases.

Some of the case notes received by the Council dwelt on arbitrary charges, container deposit refund default, export/import fraud, short landing/loss and damage of cargo, storage charges, demurrage charges, illegal use of licenses, excess charges, cargo delay and abandonment of cargo.

Others include; illegal charges, commercial dispute, inadequate holding bay, royalty charge and other offences like theft, wrong classification of cargo, blacklisting of company, among other vices.

Within the period, shipping companies appeared to be the chief culprits  as 89 out of the 150 cases were against them.

The 89 cases formed 60 percent of the entire cases within the six months period.

In third quarter, NSC received 33 complaints against the shipping complaints while in the fourth quarter, the number of complaints increased to 56 based on similar matters.

Next in line to shipping companies is the terminal operators who had 31 complaints recorded against them  in both quarters.

The total of 31 complaints form 18.5 percent of the total complaints received by the Council within the period under review.

Complaints against the concessionaires rose from eight  in third quarter to 23 in the fourth quarter.

Within the period, the number of complaints against shippers were 12 in total, six in each quarter.

Freight Forwarders complaints were eight in all,amounting to 5.5 percent of the complaints in the last half of 2018.

Foreign buyers had nine complaints recorded against them  between July and December, 2018 amounting to six percent.

Meanwhile, further breakdown revealed that arbitrary charges in the two quarters amounted to 24 percent, followed by demurrage.

The complaints, according to the Complaints unit of the NSC, are all being attended to even as some have been resolved while some disposed off due to lack of merit and other have been amicably resolved.

Watch out for part two. In the second Part, the individuals whose cases have been resolved and sent in appreciation letters shall be highlighted

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