The nation’s seaports are at the moment experiencing congestion due to the high cost of clearing of consignments. Most of the shippers have decided to let go of the consignments instead of paying what they termed as unreasonable costs.
Most of the nation’s seaports in Lagos, Koko, Sapele, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Warri and Onne are jam-packed with goods due to accumulated demurrage running into several millions of naira.
Once the consignee, importer or agent fails to take the cargo out of the terminal at the stipulated time, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may declare such cargo as abandoned cargo and eventually dispose it off as “overtime cargo”.
Today, clearing a 20 feet container costs as much as N840, 000 while to clear a 40 feet container now costs N1.2 million. This reality has not in anyway favourable to importers who are genuinely doing business to make money.
One of the clearing agents who spoke with city rovers informed us that the issue is not favourable to the government who jumped the tariff up too. To him, when the importers pay the little they pay and it comes in droves, it is better than now that everyone seems to be abandoning their goods at the seaports.
At the moment the situation is still the same with many crying to see if the coming government would reverse the President Jonathan’s directive to up the charges