Nigerian Ports and COVID-19: Are the Palliative Measures Sustainable?
Several measures are being put in place to cushion the effect on COVID-19 on businesses globally both by the public and private sectors.
As part of its efforts to ease the challenges, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has directed all Terminal Operators to suspend all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments (demurrage) for an initial period of twenty-one days effective 23rd March 2020 and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) directed shipping companies to suspend demurrage charges during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown with effect from 30th March 2020. To find out about this, please read our detailed article here.
In a meeting with Truck Owners on Tuesday April 21 2020, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shipper Council, appealed to truck owners to slash their rate for the movement of cargoes from the seaports to any part of the country by 30% during the lockdown due to COVID-19. This is in a bid to support Nigeria’s economy through these trying times and most importantly ensure that the ports are decongested and cargoes are cleared promptly. According to a report from NSC the truck owners have promised to slash their prices by 30%.
The list below is the new freight charges that will serve as a benchmark for haulage operators to carry cargoes out of the Lagos seaports to other parts of the state.
|S/N||Axis/Region||Old Price||New Price (30% Reduction)|
|1||Ikeja/ Agege & Environs||400,000/500,000||280,000/350,000|
|3||Mushin Ijesha||300,000/380, 000||210,000/266,000|
|4||Lagos Island||350,000/400,000||245, 000/280,000|
Although this is commendable both on the part of the truck owners and the NSC, there are quite a number of issues that need to be urgently addressed and attended to.
In the meeting with the Executive Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the truck owners complained bitterly of several issues affecting their businesses.
A few of the issues are listed below:
- Excessive charges of about N100,000-140,000 of unregistered payments for swift access to cargoes at the seaports.
- Congestion at the seaports.
- Limited banking services.
- Non-issuance of Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) by some terminals
We would examine some of the issues being faced with a scenario:
Truck A would need to deal with extortion from different angles to gain access to the cargoes at the seaports coupled with the congestion still being faced at the Nigerian Ports. Ordinarily, the truck owners would like to compensate their business for all the trouble faced at the seaports by charging a high cost for the delivery of the cargo(es) to their Clients.
What is the Way Forward?
Our thoughts are that if the Nigerian Ports Authority could address some of the bottlenecks being faced at the Nigerian Seaports, the truck owners would not need to charge such high rates. The current challenges facing them are clearly some of the factors resulting in their high price rates.
The Nigerian Ports Authority should crucially look into decongestion of the ports especially at this period to ensure that essential commodities such as food and medical supplies are not delayed. We suggest that all trucks with non-essentials are moved to garages at this period.
How Can I Ensure Premium Shipping and Logistics Management During This COVID-19 Pandemic?
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Get in Contact with our Experts to discuss your requirements
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