A group of licensed customs agents under the aegis of Advocacy for Maritime Development Association (AMDA) has lamented that importers and clearing agents lose about N500 million daily to the suspension of stripping activities at the bonded terminals in Tin Can Island Port Complex, Lagos.
The group is seeking the intervention of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in the resuscitation of service in the port, saying it would reduce unnecessary charges from shipping companies and terminal operators.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had in November suspended stripping activities due to the lingering gridlock on the access roads. President of the group, Segun Alabi, during a courtesy call to the management team of NSC recently, maintained that unstuffing of containers outside the port gate reduces cost of transportation of goods from the port.
Alabi who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer, Factotum Nigeria Limited, said stripping could not have been the cause of the traffic. He lamented that since the activity has been suspended, the cost of transportation has risen by over 100 per cent.
Explaining the scenario, he said a container, which would have cost about N300, 000 to move out of the port, could be charged for as low as N150, 000 with the content unstuffed, while the container is returned to the port without delay. He called the attention of the NSC to the stoppage of export cargo for two weeks owing to lack of logistics in the port.
He maintained that export should be given priority attention.
In his response, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, stated that NPA stopped the stripping owing to gridlock. He, however, assured that the Council would look into the issue and speak with NPA to see how the stripping activity could be revisited for its economic gains.
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