The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello, says there is no piracy in Nigeria, but what we have are incidences of armed robbery.
Bello said the armed robbery incidences and not piracy has been confirmed by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB)
The Secretary in a statement made available to The Tide queried the rational behind foreign shipping lines slamming ‘war risk surcharges’ on Nigerian bound cargoes,
He said the slamming war risk are deliberate extortion of Nigerian importers and creating a wrong impression about Nigeria’s maritime sector.
Bello assured that the Council is taking up a fight against international carriers to correct the negative impressions and to ensure that Nigeria-bound cargoes are not over charged.
“There is no piracy in Nigeria, what we have are incidences of armed robbery, do you know the difference? So there is no piracy in Nigeria, the releases from the International Maritime Bureau have said that we have less incidences of piracy, but go and check the surcharges, it could be the same” he said.
“The surcharges are supposed to be temporary, to address temporary issues like the fuel adjustment factor which comes in if there is increase in fuel price, however, if the fuel price drops, the surcharge still remains”
.”We are going to the bottom of it; this is a fight we have to fight so that Nigeria-bound cargoes are not over charged” Bello said.
“If we have got our infrastructure, the deep-sea ports, the price right, then, all the cargoes will come to Nigeria from where we would distribute to other small countries around us”
“Nigeria is the centre of the world, 200 million people, 975,000 square kilometers ,
”We have so many rivers, creeks, brooks, water transportation is everywhere, we have roads being fixed everywhere, Jebba-Ilorin road is being done, and then the rail”
“The moment we have the Ibadan-Kano rail line, Port Harcourt – Maiduguri line, then it means Nigeria has taken-off” he said
Bello explained the rational behind the delay in the take off of the Truck Transit Parks (TTP) a pet project of the Council in ensuring that transportation of cargoes are carried out seamlessly across Nigeria.
He stated that the council is working with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) on the TTP project, saying that the project is now going to advertisement and procurement.
He said in Enugu State, we had some environmental issues, there were pipelines at the site, so we have heard a meeting with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) the NNPC, and Ministry of Works over the right of way, the meeting was held in Ibadan two weeks ago and all the issues were trashed. So, we are going to the market to advertise the park in Enugu.”
“Then, in Lokoja, we discovered that the government has not paid compensation to the local people even though we cleared the place, “we are working with the state government on this, it is either we go ahead and tell the concessionaire that there is a contingent liability or we have the state government to pay it” he said