BY CHUKS OLUIGBO
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) says it has saved importers in the country from paying up to 3.27 billion naira (or $6.54 million) in demurrage to ocean-going vessels between 2020 and 2021.
This feat was achieved through the activities of the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) instituted to implement the provisions of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual, according to Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary/CEO of NSC.
“The team’s activities have saved the Nigerian economy an average demurrage of $20,000 per day between 2020 and 2021, which ultimately translates to $6,540,000 ($3,270,000,000, 00 kN),” Jime said Tuesday during a breakfast meeting with maritime correspondents. and economic writers in Lagos.
Shipowners have paid billions of naira in demurrage to shipping lines due to business delays at ports across the country, making Nigerian ports among the most expensive. To address this, the Shippers Council implemented mandatory joint boarding and clearance of vessels by government agencies, which helped to reduce delays experienced by liners in Nigerian ports as well as demurrage paid. on shipments to Nigeria.
The meeting with the journalists was part of the activities marking Jime’s first year in office.
Speaking in more detail about what his administration has been able to accomplish over the past year, Jime said the average time to resolve complaints about vessel infractions has dropped significantly, from seven to 10 days to between one and four o’clock.
“Over 85% of ships that called at Nigerian ports in 2021 departed without any incident, which was not the case in the past. cargo clearance by all government agencies involved in cargo clearance, the exercise increased the number of cargoes screened per day from 125 to an average of 230 boxes per day per terminal,” he said. .
Overall, he said, the implementation of the Ports Manual has made it easier to do business in Nigerian ports and significantly reduced corruption tendencies.
Regarding the handling and resolution of complaints, Jime said the Council received and dealt with 518 complaints from freight owners in 2021, and another 100 complaints in the first quarter of 2022.
“In 2021, the Council was able to recover over 1 billion Naira in 2021 and an additional 18.5 million Naira in the first quarter of 2022 was saved for stakeholders by the Council. The Council is currently working on the compilation and analysis of complaints processed during the second quarter of the year 2022,” he said.
The Nigerian Shippers Council also works in conjunction with a number of government departments and agencies including the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among others, all geared towards trade facilitation. The collaboration with NEPC, for example, saw the approval of a total of 12 national export warehouses across the country for the start of operations, including GEZEWA Commodity Exchange in Kano, MV EHILOMEL, Onne in the State de Rivers, ESSLIBRA in Ikorodu-Lagos State, Harris Logistics in Lokoja-Kogi State, Sealink Limited in Ajaokuta-Kogi State, Kaduna Inland Dry Port in Kaduna State, AMES- Edo Inland Dry Port in Benin-Edo State, among others.
Meanwhile, the Shippers Council will organize the 16th edition of the International Maritime Seminar from Tuesday 5th to Thursday 7th July 2022 at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers.
The seminar, according to the head of the NSC, aims to create a platform through which judges/judges of various courts, both in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region, are enriched with the jurisprudence required to enable them to face the challenges of interpretation and application. principles of national and international maritime law in the resolution of maritime and maritime disputes/claims, as well as bringing together stakeholders, ship owners, terminal operators, government agencies, insurers/maritime surveyors, universities, international maritime organisations, transport and logistics experts to discuss issues concerning the sector and propose solutions if necessary.
He said the seminar will focus on enforcing torts and surety in bills of lading; current issues in port operations (Standard Operating Procedure in Ports and consequent legal issues, Nigerian Customs E-Wine Valuation Method); current issues in maritime adjudication and practice (the challenges of simple contracts in the adjudication of maritime claims in Nigeria; “Sui Generis” in the Admiralty and jurisdiction over crew wages in Nigeria; and the clearance of Cargoes and Limits of Admiralty Jurisdiction); security of the maritime domain (piracy and armed robbery at sea): law on the repression of piracy and other maritime offenses (SPOMO); case management in the resolution of maritime disputes: alternative dispute resolution, arbitration and the use of technology; and stress management.