COMPLAINTS UNIT: Shippers Council Recovers N900.81m for Freight Forwarders

Emmanuel Jime

The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime, has said the council saved N900.81m from 82 resolved disputes between shipping companies and shippers or freight forwarders in five months.

He disclosed this to the managing directors and editors of media houses at a dinner held in Lagos. According to him, the cases were from July to December, 2021.

He said, “The Council has been able to resolve a lot of disputes between shipping companies and shippers or freight forwarders.

“From July — December, 2021 a total of 171 complaints were received, 82 cases were resolved and 89 cases still outstanding. The sum of N900.81m was saved as a result of the Council’s intervention.”

According to Jime, most shipping agencies have achieved 99 per cent digitalisation of its process, although they still resort to manual processes because of its demand by some government agencies. He added that a committee composed of representatives of Shipping Line Agencies and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has been established to ensure a harmonious working relationship with the shipping companies.

He said, “As a result of our collaboration with the Maritime Police Command, there has been a reduction in the rate of complaints received from the freight forwarding agents on the incessant issuance of detention alert placed on duly cleared containers by the officers of the Marine Police.

“We have set up and inaugurated the National Shippers Association of Nigeria. This is with a view to giving the shippers across Nigeria, a stronger voice in addressing common issues of interest with the service providers and to also contribute to national policies affecting practice and conduct of international trade.”

According to Jime, the Council in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council is working on establishing Domestic Export Warehouses across the country to address some of the challenges experienced in the export chain.

He said, “The Council is also working together with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to institute a Consumer Protection Regime for the shipping and ports industry. A Memorandum of Understanding is about to be signed on this subject matter.”

Jime said the Council has been a major proponent of Inland Dry Ports and Vehicle Transit Areas in Nigeria as they will help reduce sea port congestion, bring shipping services closer to the hinterland, and ensure safe carriage of goods from the ports to other parts of Nigeria.

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