EBOLA: Shippers’ Council boss, Hassan Bello faults Sarumi over freight rates

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) was yesterday quoted in the media as saying that there has been no increase in the cost of freight on Nigeria-bound cargoes, according to the Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello.

A newspaper (not SHIPS & PORTS DAILY) recently reported that European ship owners have increased freight rates on cargoes and also imposed surcharge on vessels and crew coming to Nigeria and other West African countries affected by the Ebola virus.

Bello said, “There is no truth in the allegation. We have checked with the line carriers and their agents in Nigeria and they have all denied the increase. Ordinarily when something like that is happening, it ought to be published.

“What we have as of now, are the normal rates; the congestion charge, risk insurance and so on,” Bello stated.

The President of the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Chief Adebayo Sarunmi, had two weeks ago at an event in Lagos, reportedly said that insurance and freight rates had been increased while surcharge had been imposed on West African countries battling with the Ebola virus.

The Director-General of the NCS, Mrs. Ify Akerele, had reportedly also confirmed the increase, saying that shipping lines were taking advantage of the situation as they did during the unrest in the Niger Delta area.

She said Nigeria had become a high risk area as a result of the Ebola virus.

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