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Fresh crisis looms at ports over demurrage, storage charges

Fresh trouble is currently brewing at the Apapa and Tin-Can ports over plans by shipping companies and terminal operators to slam demurrage and storage charges on cargoes trapped at the ports since last week Tuesday when the #ENDSARS protest spiraled to the ports and shut down cargo evacuation processes.

In a letter titled, ‘Appeal to all Shipping Lines/ Terminal Operators Not to Charge Demurrage/Storage during this #ENDSARS lockdown period’, and addressed to the Managing Director of Maersk Line Nigeria Limited by the National Coordinator, 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, the group warned that any effort to slam demurrage and storage charges on trapped goods at the ports will be resisted vehemently.

According to the letter issued at the weekend, “following the #ENDSARS Nigerian Youths protest, which has lasted for more than a week now; the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team wish to appeal to shipping companies and terminal operators in Lagos not to charge demurrage or storage fees on cargoes trapped inside the ports.

“It has come to our knowledge that some shipping companies and terminal operators have already started charging storage and demurrage for this period of #ENDSARS Nigerian youths protest without recourse to consideration like safety of lives and properties.”

The group added that first consideration world over in any crisis period is security of lives and properties, adding that it is most unfortunate to note that otherwise is the case here and “we want to say a Big No to that.”

“We had expected our shipping companies and terminal operators to show some sense of concern, love, solidarity and pity to the Nigerian youths and to those importers who have lost their loved ones or properties in this struggle to put Nigeria on the track of good governance. However, this has not been the case.

“On this note, we want to state categorically clear that NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team will not fold it’s hands and watch our members exploited for no fault of theirs. We will employ and invoke the spirit of Aluta Continua to resist and even oppose this wickedness by shipping companies and terminal operators.’’Sunnews

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