...To secure waiver on rent, demurrage
The Nigerian Shippers Council has said that it is embarking on a visit to all shipping companies and terminal operators starting from Monday 16th (today) in order to ensure they comply with ease of doing business and importantly, to seek waiver on rent and demurrage for port users on account of the nine days strike action embarked upon by truck drivers last week.
Executive Secretary of the Council, Barrister Hassan Bello in a chat with Shipping Position Daily at the weekend confirmed that he would personally be leading the visit.
Bello acknowledged that the situation at hand has a deep legal twist, he however assured that the Council negotiate with the shipping companies and terminal operators to secure the needed waiver for the days clearing agents could not take delivery of their cargoes owing to no fault of theirs.
Speaking with our correspondent, Bello said "NSC will visit terminals and shipping companies to ensure compliance with the ease of doing business.
The issue of waiver of rent or demurrage occassioned by withdrawal of service by truckers will be discussed"
"This is what we want to discuss with the shipping companies, but you know there are legal issues concerning , but we want to see how we can come to a settlement"
"It is a tricky situation, we have stopped them charging during public holidays, we have also stopped them from collecting what they called 'positioning , we have stopped them on so many things and on this one also, we have to come to a compromise"
The council last week successfully prevailed on truck drivers in the maritime sector to call off their nine-day old strike action in protest of alleged extortion by government agencies at ports as well as failure of the truck call-up system introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to manage the Apapa traffic gridlock.
The strike was called off after the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) brokered a peace meeting between the truck drivers, Nigerian Navy, various truck owners associations and the NPA.
At a meeting held at the Council’s headquarters in Apapa last week, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello urged the truck drivers to return to the port.