- 3,000 Containers in Apapa Gridlock Attract N600m Retention Fees
An estimated 3,000 container-laden trucks which enter the ports in Lagos every day held in endless gridlock have their importers paying N200,000 deposit fee each per 20-foot container, summing up to N600m.
The fee is deposited by an importer when taking delivery of the cargo.
Shipping agents accept the fee as insurance against damage or delays in returning the container.
After failing to return the container after a certain number of days, the importer would forfeit some or all of the money.
About 4,500 trucks enter the port every day on legitimate business, according to a study by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
It was gathered that the amount could be higher than N600m when the deposit fees for a 40-foot container which is N400,000 and that of a 40-foot reefer container which goes for N800,000, were taken into consideration.
A maritime expert and the Chief Executive Officer of Hermonfield, Mr Tunji Olaosun, said the amount could be enough motivation for some vested interests to perpetuate the Apapa gridlock.
Stakeholders have maintained that the deplorable condition of the port access roads, especially the Tin Can and Coconut axes, had political and sinister undertone. They expressed the opinion that successive governments had deliberately refused to do anything about the road.
“There must be a sinister reason why that road is left that way. The government is making N4bn daily from the ports, it cannot be ordinary that they could close their eyes while the roads leading to the ports that they generate such huge sum deteriorate,” the Coordinator, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Dr Osita Chukwu, said.
Some stakeholders alleged that government agencies responsible for fixing the roads had been bribed heavily by the shipping agents to ignore the roads so trucks could queue up and importers could continue to pay container deposits and demurrages.
Olaosun said in order to address the situation, the Nigerian Shippers Council had initiated a technology called “unveil,” which when deployed would immediately put an end to payment of unjustified demurrage and go a long way in eliminating the gridlock.
He said the technology would ensure that free days set by shipping agencies only start counting after the Actual Time of Arrival of the cargo instead of the current practice where shipping agents start counting free days at the Expected Time of Arrival of the cargo.
He said once this commenced, terminal operators would be forced to speed up clearing process and be more efficient in their operations because they would know that there would be no demurrage charges arising from deliberate slow down of processes inside the terminals.
Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks on Looted Palliatives, Explains Delay
Looted Palliatives: Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks
Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has spoken on the recent actions of criminals and thugs who hijacked the #EndSARS protest and looted warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives were kept for distributions.
The group refuted claims that the stolen items were hoarded for certain people instead of distribution to the vulnerable they were meant for. This is despite the fact that some of the palliatives were already rotten by the time criminals broke into the warehouses.
Some of the looters, who spoke with the press, said a sizeable number of the items were already rotten and destroyed by rodents, while one of the lawmakers tasked with distribution claimed he planned to distribute the items on his birthday. A statement that angered many Nigerians.
However, in a statement issued on behalf of the group by Osita Nwanisobi, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, CBN, on Monday, CACOVID said due to the huge size of the items meant to be distributed, the complex process involved in manufacturing, packaging and the eventual distribution to 2 million most vulnerable families across the 774 local government in the country, the group agreed to conduct the supply in stages, especially given locked down imposed by the Federal Government during the period.
The statement reads, “Members of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) wish to call for calm, amidst the looting of COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution in various State Government warehouses across the country.
“The Coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private property to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the States to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.
“Over the past few months, the private sector, through CACOVID has been working with governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to procure, deliver, and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 local government areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support towards the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner.
“The very large size of the order and the production cycle required to meet the demand caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence, the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”
Makinde Directs Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest
Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest, Says Governor Makinde
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed schools across the Ibadan metropolis to resume normal activities immediately after the #EndSARS protest.
Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, the commissioner for education, Oyo State, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan.
According to Olaleye, the directive was after a careful review of the situation in the Ibadan metropolis as promised by Governor Makinde in a state broadcast on October 20.
This was after the governor ordered the closure of all schools, private and public, in the Ibadan metropolis for three days and promised to review the situation on October 23.
Olaleye said the governor thanks the youths who have been cooperating with security operatives in the state to ensure peace and order.
NIMC to Register, Issue 2.5 million National Identification Monthly
The National Identity Management Commission has said it would improve registration and issuance of the National Identification Numbers to both Nigerians and legal residents to the current 500,000 to 2.5 million per month.
Aliya Aziz, Director-General, NIMC, said this was the commission’s renewed commitment towards the provision of identity services to the nation.
He gave the assurance while playing host to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who was on an official visit to the commission’s head office in Abuja.
Aziz said in a statement issued in Abuja by the Head, Corporate Communication, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, that the commission would meet and surpass the monthly target.
This, he said, would be part of the policy statements in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
The NIMC boss told his guest that the commission had competent human resources and was looking forward to government support and intervention in injecting the much needed material resources to realise the set objectives.
Pantami charged the commission to increase and improve its performance with regards to NIN registration and issuance, as he also reiterated the target of 2.5 million monthly enrolments.
The minister told his host that the importance of digital identity in actualising the digital economy goals could not be overemphasised and commended the strides recorded by the NIMC despite limited resources.
He assured the commission of government’s support and guidance towards ensuring the fulfilment of its mandate, adding that he had initiated moves to improve staff welfare at the NIMC.
Pantami also assured the NIMC management and staff of his resolve to improve the state of the current infrastructure and equipment to enable the commission to sustain its performance.
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