Nigerian importers are to get benefit from a relief in fees following a directive issued by the Nigerian Ports Authority to all terminal operators in the country to suspend all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments and demurrage for an initial period of 21 days, effective March 23, 2020.
In a statement by Adams Jatto, general manager Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA said the gesture was “in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposes on businesses, the responsibility imposed on the authority to relieve this burden on its customers as well as attaining the objective of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business Policy at this trying period.”
“The authority recognises the financial implications of these policies on the terminal operators and will consider a shift in our operational charges to ameliorate the situation of stakeholders,” Jatto added.
The NPA had insisted it would not close the seaports, maintaining that as an import-dependent country, Nigeria could not afford to close her seaports at a time like this when the country would be needing aids from overseas organisations and countries.
“One thing you have to bear in mind is that Nigeria is an import-dependent nation. Again, if we are talking of measures needed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need materials to do that, and those materials have to come from other countries through the seaports,” said Jatto.