The Nigerian Shippers Council has pleaded with the management of Nigerian Ports Authority to reduce harbour dues payable by terminal operators by five per cent.
The NSC said it was prevailing on shipping companies to increase their demurrage-free days from five to 15.
Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, while addressing journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, said the council was also persuading terminal operators to increase their rent-free days from three to 10.
According to him, this is yet to receive general acceptance from the terminal operators.
He said, “We expect shipping companies to increase demurrage-free days from five to 15, to ease the pressure on the Nigerian economy.
“We also call on the NPA to reduce by five per cent the harbour dues payable by shipping companies, so that the Federal Government would also make a general sacrifice.”
The NSC boss disclosed that the council would be examining shipping documents used by shipping lines, because some of them include terms that were oppressive to Nigerian trade.
“We have to examine shipping documents used by shipping lines. We have had reports of very oppressive terms or bills in the bill of lading, which are oppressive to Nigerian trade.
“We have to synchronise these bills of lading because it is a contract between the carrier and the consignee; so we have to find out what is happening and clean up the system,” he said.
Bello also reiterated that the complaints unit of the agency was central to its operations, and that, monthly, the council would receive an average of 25 letters from corporate and individual bodies appreciating the agency.
“We will soon constitute a committee of staff to monitor and ensure that export laden containers are given priority to access seaports, especially on Sundays,” he added.
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