Port economic regulator, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has been facilitating the illegal activities of foreign shipping lines operating in Nigerian ports.
National Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, who made the accusation recently, while peaking at a forum, on behalf of the five registered associations under the group; Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)
He said “despite ripping Nigerians off, NSC has been signing for the shipping companies to repatriate the illegal funds abroad.” Farinto decried the Council for allowing the foreigners to get away with the funds they make from demurrages and unreturned container deposits
Recall that there has been perennial squabble between freight forwarders and shipping lines over failure of the former to refund container deposits paid to them.
Freight forwarders have blamed their inability to return empty container to the shipping lines on their failure to acquire holding bays where the empties are supposed to be dropped
The group maintained that if the foreign shipping companies were denied signature to repatriate the funds, all the problems would have been solved before now.
On acquisition of holding bays, Farinto stated that there was no hiding place for the operators anymore.
In his words: “I don’t know where they want to hide now, every shipping company is expected to have what is called holding bays and you and I know that the various holding bays they have cannot contain the number of empties they have
“How can you bring in 500 containers and have a holding bay that can contains only 200 containers. Who is fooling who? Meanwhile, you allow our container deposit to be depleting on the trucks and Shippers’ Council continue to sign for them to repatriate this money
“We have studied the intricacies and technicalities of these things, we know it and we are now saying Shippers’ Council should desist from signing this thing for them and if they continue to so, there would be sanity in our ports.
“It is because we are allowing them to have a field day, you are charging them for deposit, charging container detention and repatriating this money and Nigerians are signing this money to be repatriated.”