An official of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the suspension of demurrage and storage charges at the nation’s seaports ended on April 27, 2020.
“The statement (issued by NPA) directed all terminal operators to extend the suspension of all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments for another 14 days elective April 13, 2020. This means that the directive lasted till April 27, 2020.
“However, the Managing Director’s office has not issued any further directive with regards to the waiver, so the terminal date is April 27,” the official, who did not want to be identified because he had not been authorised to speak on the matter, said.
He said NPA would issue an official statement on the matter soon.
The NPA had on March 24 announced suspension of demurrage and storage charges on imported cargoes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
In a statement on April 13, 2020 titled, “Relief measures to port users due to outbreak of COVID-19 – Extension of Relief Period” and signed by NPA’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Jatto Adams, NPA asked terminal operators to suspend storage charges on imported cargoes for another 14 days.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority has directed all terminal operators to extend the suspension of all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments (demurrage) for another 14 days elective April 13, 2020.
“This follows the extension of the lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
“This gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposes on businesses, the responsibility imposed on the authority to relief 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 states that compensation to terminal operators will be as spelt out in its April 8, 2020 letter to the terminal operators,” Jatto had said.
With the expiration of the waiver on April 27, normal charges are expected to resume.