Speaking on the development, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mickey Excellency Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde, accused the Nigerian Shippers Council of negligence of its statutory duties, saying that as the regulator of port services, it ought to be monitoring the activities of the shipping companies.
Babatunde, a freight forwarder and stalwart of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said importers were been forced to pay the arbitrary charges without intervention by the government.
“In the past three weeks, shipping lines and agencies have been imposing arbitrary and illegal charges on importers, because of negligence and lack of monitoring by the NSC.
“The council is an agency of the government that gets heavy financial subvention to protect the interest of importers and exporters, but right under the council’s watch, the shipping companies are arbitrarily and imperiously imposing illegal charges on importers, without a word from the council,” he said.
Efforts to get the Director, Special Duties of the Shippers Council, Ignatius Nweke proved abortive as text messages and calls put through to his mobile phone were not responded to as at the time of filling in this report.
It will be recalled that foreign shipping companies, earlier in the year, had issued a circular, dated October 28, 2016, notifying port users that they will start collecting N38,000 charges on all containers at the ports.
The shipping companies labelled the charges as government and port taxes, and started implementation in December, 2016.
This recent charge, Port Additional Destination, is coming on the heels of the government and port taxes earlier added to shipping bills on Nigeria bound imports.