Nigeria Loses N35 Billion in One Week As Agents Shut Down Major Seaport


The nation’s economy lost at least N35 billion in the last seven days as clearing agents blockaded the Lagos Port Complex, LPC, Apapa, over disagreement in charges collected by terminal operators.

While the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has lost an average of N1.4 billion daily as a result of the agents’ action; shipping lines, manufacturing companies, haulage/trucking firms, terminal operators, Nigerian Ports Authority, importers, clearing agents and other agencies of government reportedly lost N3.6 billion amounting to an average daily loss of N5 billion.

The blockade, which started on Monday, November 3, 2014, has continued till today without any sign of resolution. Area Project Manager, Apapa Area Command of the NCS, Deputy Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, explained that even while some documents could be processed online, containers could not exit the port because they could not be examined by customs officers.

While confirming the huge revenue loss by the command, Malanta said the strike could also induce port congestion. Recall that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, on Wednesday October 29, 2009 announced the reversal of storage charges at the ports which was in force as at May 1, 2009. NSC also ordered an increase in the free storage period at the port from three to seven days.

It equally directed shipping companies to reduce their shipping line agency charges from N26,500 to N23,850 per TEU (20-foot containers) and from N48,000 to N40,000 per FEU (40-foot containers).

Also, it directed shipping agencies to refund container deposits to importers and agents within 10 working days after the return of the empty containers.
Source: Vanguard

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