Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has blamed government agencies at the nation’s maritime sector for high cost of doing business at the Nigerian seaports.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the Vice President of ANLCA, Mr. Kayode Farinto, said that the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) subjected shipping companies and importers to double charges, which invariably led to hike in freight cost.
He, however, accused NPA and NIMASA for duplicating charges collected from the shipping companies, which in turns adds to the high cost of goods in the country. He said NPA and NIMASA are incurring the same charges on the shipping companies, which they (shipping companies) later passed on the cost to the final consumers in the country. He added: “NIMASA charges a lot of money on the gross tonnage, which they have been collecting in dollars, asides duplicating function charges collected by both NIMASA and NPA, NIMASA collects charges for Maritime Environmental and Management Protection Levy, which is the same with Pollution Charges collected by NPA.”
Speaking further, he also decried the high cost of security charges paid by shipping companies at anchorage, which hindered ease of doing business. He said shipping companies pay as much as $2000 per day at anchorage for security against pirates.
According to him, it takes close to 55 days at anchorage for a vessel going to APMT terminal, while it takes 25 days for a vessel heading to TICT.
“I am one of the people that believe that the shipping companies are the major problem in the country. I am shifting grounds in view of what I have seen, the blame doesn’t go to them alone, and chunk of it goes to NIMASA, The Nigerian Navy and partially NPA.
“I took my time to do my research and I notice that NIMASA charge lots of money on a vessel, there is what we called gross tonnage of a vessel, which means that the bigger your vessel, the higher the money you pay to NIMASA and they have been collecting this in dollars.”
Speaking further he said that when a vessel calls on the nation’s waters, NIMASA charges 3 per cent freight on each container, stating that NIMASA collects about $100 for 1 by 20ft container and $200 dollars for 1 by 40ft container. Farinto argued that the high cost of charges slammed by NIMASA has led to the country being a dumping ground for empty containers in the country. He however, stated that the high charges slammed on shipping companies should not be a justification for their failure to have holding bays.