The Nigerian Ports Authority has said it will compensate seaport terminal operators if they implement the 21-day import storage waiver directive issued on March 23, 2020 by the authority.
NPA had on March 23 directed terminal operators to waive storage fees for an initial period of 21 days, after which the waiver period may be reviewed.
However, it was gathered that the operators did not heed the directive, but continued to charge storage fees, saying that the NPA needed to define its directive in proper perspective.
In a letter dated April 8, 2020 entitled ‘Re: Relief Measures To Port Users Due To Outbreak of COVID-19’, NPA said it would grant credit notes commensurate to the rental reliefs granted by the operators to importers within the 21-day free storage period.
In the letter signed by the General Manager, Monitoring and Regulatory Services, Ugo Madubuike, for the managing director, NPA clarified, “The compensation will only cover cargoes situated in your terminal within the period under reference.
“The terminal must produce evidence of delivery records indicating waiver of rent for the period in reference. The compensation shall only cover storable cargoes within respective terminals. It shall only cover charges approved by the Authority and published by the terminal. Any charge outside these will not be accommodated.”
Following the refusal of the port concessionaires to waive storage fees, the Association Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, the country’s largest association of customs brokers, had on Wednesday, April 8, threatened legal action against the port operators for failing to implement the NPA directive on storage charges.