SCAN gathers stakeholders to find solution to high charges at ports
by AMAKA ANAGOR
February 21, 2018 | 12:02 am| | | Start Conversation
As part of the effort to find lasting solution to the issues around high cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports, the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria (SCAN), has concluded plans to bring industry stakeholders together to brainstorm on how to reduce skyrocketing port charges.
A statement signed Yusuf Babalola, the President, said that the summit tagged, “Port Charges: How Plausible?” which is expected to hold on March 15, in Lagos, is to find solutions to the myriads of challenges confronted by shippers, terminal operators, clearing agents, importers, port regulators in administrating charges at the port.
According to Babalola, the summit is borne out of series of complaints by operators, regulators, shippers, clearing agents in the shipping industry over exorbitant charges at the port, which fuels cargo diversion to neighouring ports.
“Nigerian port is already sagging in the absence of appropriate pricing, billing inaccuracy, unfriendly port environment and cargo insecurity. The association therefore decided to hold a summit to address the issue, which has been lingering since port concession of 2006,” he said.
Babalola listed issues like high exchange rate, dilapidated port infrastructure, inability to connect the port to the national grid and collapsed access roads leading to the ports as issues growing the charges at ports.
Babalola further stated that the objective of the summit is to make Nigerian seaports attractive to cargoes, investors and hub of shipping activities. The solution, he said, would open the port sector to jobs; eliminate corruption and illegal charges at seaports.
It is observed that about 90 percent of vessels berthing at Benin, Togo, Ghana and other neighbouring ports were mostly cargoes destined for Nigerian market but inability to get the charges right have made Nigeria lose traffic to smaller ports in West Africa.
SCAN is a body of journalists with Nigerian daily newspapers reporting the day to day activities in the nation’s maritime sector.
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