Shippers Council to Stop Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators Repatriating Funds from Nigeria

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Nigerian Shippers Council headquarters, Apapa Lagos

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Nigerian Shippers Council has warned that terminal operators and shipping companies who fails to abide by its regulatory functions would no longer be allowed to repatriate funds collected from Nigeria back to their home countries.

The Council has also said that terminal operators who set tariffs without recourse to the Council’s authority would be mandated to account for all monies so far charged from port users, as such would be deemed as illegal collections.

The Deputy Director Stakeholders Services of the Council, Mr Celestine Akijobi made the assertion during a sensitization of stakeholders on registration of regulated port service providers and users, held in Apapa, Lagos last week.

The Council states that there has been instances where some shipping companies changed their funds into Dollars and tried to repatriate such, but that the Council had course to stop it because the company was not registered with the Council.

Akujobi while addressing the stakeholders stated that there are applicable sanctions for non-compliance to the ongoing registration by the Council.

“Part of the sanctions is the withdrawal of Shippers Council services from defaulters. This means you will no longer enjoy any of our services like confirmation of demurrage, only Shippers Council confirms freight rates.

“What you may not know, for Shipping Companies, when you want to repatriate your funds from Nigeria to your own country, you may not know, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) usually alerts the Shippers Council to confirm whether that money you are repatriating was genuinely earned.

“We have instances where some companies had gone to change the money they collected in Nigeria into dollars and tried to repatriate such, we have had instances of asking the bank to stop it, you may not know, but these are some of the things we do.

“For service providers, the rates you charge, you need to come to Shippers Council to approve these rates. However, some of you charge whatever they like, but some that I know, usually come to the Shippers Council first for approval.

“When it comes to tariff filing, whether you are a terminal operator, Shipping Company, logistics service provider or whatever, we would not listen to you, and it means that, any money you are collecting from your customers are illegal money, and one day, we may ask you to account for all the money you have collected. We have done that in the past, and we are still doing it.
We have the power also to stop you from operating at any Nigerian port if you are not registered” Akujobi warned

He attested to the fact that since the coming of the law for compulsory registration of service providers and users of Nigerian Ports, the Shippers Council has been very lenient.

“The law has sanctions for non-compliance which we have not been carrying out. Whenever we are called upon by the Blue Economy Ministry, we continue to give reasons, and the reasons we give is that we want to carryout enough sensitization.

“We have decided to carryout sensitization so that nobody would say they are not aware.
By the fourth quater of the year 2024, we would start applying those sanctions.

“When we start enforcement, we shall publish a list of those who are allowed to operate at the port, so if your name is not there, it means that you are not allowed to operate at our ports, and it means that no shipping company would have anything to do with you officially. There would be sanctions for shipping companies or terminal operators having anything to do with unregistered service providers” he said

1 thought on “Shippers Council to Stop Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators Repatriating Funds from Nigeria

  1. Please make tict terminal the first to be sanctioned….they are very,greedy and wicked.. they don’t waive for there customers.. imagine I have a 40ft container that had been in the port for jus 7months and they furnished me with an outrageous debit note of over 12m naira.. for over a month now I’ve been writing and pleading for them to azleast give me 40% to 30% waiver inwhich they declined and asked me to go pay the outrageous bill like
    This people are so wicked and I don’t know why

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