Maritime Task Team appeals to NPA to clarify 21 days waiver on demurrage

The Chairman, Maritime Task Team, Mr Samuel Nwakohu, on Thursday appealed to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to clarify its directive on 21 days waiver on demurrage.

Nwakohu made the appeal in a communique after the Maritime Task Team meeting in Lagos.

He said the Maritime Task Team was formed after a meeting of the maritime stakeholders with Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) last week.

Nwakohu, Registrar of CRFFN emerged chairman of the Task Team after the meeting.

To reduce the effect of COVID-19 on port operations, NPA had directed terminal operators and shipping companies to suspend collection of demurrage and storage charges for 21 days.

However, clearing agents alleged that terminal operators and shipping companies were flouting the directive while the port operatives were insisting that the directive needed to be defined.

The Task Team in the communique also called for Port Pass to aid the movement of freight forwarders and easy access to the port.

“There is a need for provision of more buses to transport freight forwarders and exporters to the port.

“Other government agencies like the NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority should assist in the provision of additional buses.

“Each bus should not carry more than 17 persons including drivers and security personnel.

“E-Payment should also be encouraged among freight forwarders,” Nwakohu said.

He added that there should be regular sanitisation and fumigation of the port to ensure safety and cleanliness.

He said NSC should mandate shipping companies to ensure safety by putting in place preventive measures like hand washing facilities, sanitizers, gloves, nose masks and thermometer.

The chairman said the Commissioner of Police, Western Command, should be part of the Maritime Task Team meetings.

According to him, Freight forwarders with no legitimate business at the port should stay at home.

“The Registrar should write relevant authorities on the application of Section 27, 28 and 29 of CEMA Law in crisis period,” he said.

Nwakohu said there was need to maintain the Maritime Task Team after COVID-19 to mitigate its effects. (NAN)

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