Terminal Operators, Shipping Companies Threaten Increasing Nigerian Exports

Terminal operators and Shipping Companies operating in the nation’s Seaports are threatening booming Nigeria export trade through outrageous and duplicating charges.
Recall that Nigeria export has increased since the coming on board of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
But, the feat recorded by the government to increase export and earned foreign exchange for the country is however under threat as terminal operators and shipping lines have introduced outrageous charges that may forced exporters to neighbouring Ghana and Benin Republic.
It was gathered that since import volume into the country dropped terminal operators and shipping companies have seen exportation as an alternative means of recouping investment thereby increasing and duplicating both storage and Terminal charges.
The shipping and Terminal Delivery Charges (TDC) is a charge that is not tied to service, as such charge is duplicated in the charges of Terminal Operators.
Investigation showed that shipping line in Nigeria charged an average of N50,000 for Shipping Line Agency fee, Delivery Terminal Charges, Fumigation and export processing document fee.
Also, Terminal Operators charged an average of N120, 000 for Terminal Handling Charges, Delivery Charges, Verified Gross Mass charges, Handling fee and Recombination fee for export.
According to a recent World Bank research, Nigerian ports are the costliest to run in within the sub-region. Terminal delivery/labour charges in Nigeria stand at N62,682, while it is N9,655 in Ghana and N24,000 in Benin Republic. In Senegal, the charge depends on weight and volume of freight.
Also, It takes an average time of 25 days is required to export goods from Nigeria, compared to 10.5 days for developed countries and five days for Singapore.
Speaking on this development, a big time importer who is also the Managing Director, WILLOW and WHITE investment Ltd, Mr Enonche Ucbabe, said the charges at port was not commensurate with the service rendered.
He said, “The services are non existent, the services being provided didn’t meet the service of the exporter. If infrastructure is not there,it won’t encourage big time investment and investors won’t come. Players in the sectors has lost lot of money to nonexistence of facilities in the sector.
He acknowledged that the terminal operators and shipping companies are business men but wondered whether their charges are justified.
“The terminal operators are business men that are supposed to make money but is the service justified, does it meet standard. The terminal operators, shipping companies must work together. They should charge at a rate business of trade will continue and survive because we must allow Nigeria to move again through export.,” he told our correspondent.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Shibab Shipping Services, Babatunde Shittu said exporters have started abandoning Nigeria Port for neighbouring countries for export.
He said the charges by terminal operators was the main reason they care leaving the shore of the countries for neighbouring Ghana and Benin Republic.
Shittu who is a renowned clearing agent said, “For 20ft Container, terminal operators charged N40,000 and and N80,000 for 40ft container. That will add to the cost an it won’t encourage people that are struggling to export.”
“This is a competitive business and if the cost is not attractive, exporters will divert to neighbouring countries to maximize profit.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto said the charges by terminal operators have been a clog in the wheel for exportation in the country.
“Exporters are complaining about Terminal operators increasing terminal charges it is a big problem for exportation and this is affecting the business,” he said.
According to the Factional National President of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, said export process from Nigerian Ports is plague with high and duplicated terminal and shipping charges.
He said, “The shipping lines Terminal Delivery Charges (TDC) is a charge that is not tied to service, as such charge is duplicated in the charges of Terminal Operators. These charges do not represent any service to exporters in Nigeria in any form.
“The Terminal Charges are charges component that are not tied to service and it’s duplicated by the shipping company who do not perform any service in the terminal.”
It was believed that Export plays an important role, which increase productivity, provides employment, improves trade balance and expands the growth of a nation’s economy.
At this time of economic recession, the diversification of the Economy from Oil to Non-Oil Export is imperative, which must be the focus of the Federal government for the development of non Oil Export process that is expected to play significant role in revamping the ailing economy.

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