maritime

Stakeholders fault ports task force over N5.4bn demurrage claim

Maritime stakeholders have faulted the claims by the Ports Standing Task Team that its operations saved visiting ships N5.4bn they could have paid as demurrages in one year in one year.
The National Coordinator of the PSTT, Moses Fadipe, while delivering its scorecard to journalists in Lagos recently, said the operations of the team had saved visiting ships over N5.4bn that they could have paid as demurrage between 2021 and 2022.
He also said that its operations also led to a substantial reduction in congestion, cargo dwell time, and ship turn-around time during the period under review.
Reacting to Fadipe’s claim, a member of the Board of Trustees, Nigeria Shippers Association, Jonathan Nicol, said that it was only the shipping agency that could categorically state how much may have been saved.
“Everybody is fighting to be relevant in the system and it is only shipping agencies in Nigeria that can say if they are saving so much money for Nigeria because they are the owners of the vessel. So, whatever happens between you and I, we would not know, even the shippers would not know.”
He queried the rationale through which the PSTT arrived at the figure, adding that the money they have saved was not tied to service.
“How did PSTT know that it has saved that type of money? The money it said it has saved was not tied to any service,” he said.
Nicol, however, admitted that there was an appreciable reduction in vessel waiting time, adding that there was also a reduction in the number of vessels coming to Nigeria.
“But I know there is an appreciable reduction in time for vessels waiting to discharge and leaving the ports. It has reduced unlike before because the volume of vessels coming to the port has also reduced to really attract so much demurrage.”
Also, the Founder of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Lucky Amiwero, said, “It is easier for them to say they have gotten N5.4bn. How did they get it? They will tell us the names of the ships. They should be able to tell us how they made the money. The ship turnaround time, are they the people going there? So, the problem we have is people do a lot of adverts in the paper and then go to the press and talk.”
He said that Nigerian ports were not only very porous but also one of the most expensive ports globally.

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