The Nigerian Shippers’ Council is set to convene a meeting with the Global Shippers Forum to discuss the charges imposed on Nigeria as war risks for piracy attacks.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Hassan Bello who revealed this, stated that the charges were too high and most times groundless. Nigeria has been in the news in the past few years for the frequency of piracy attacks.
Reports by the International Maritime Bureau had consistently assigned Nigeria at the summit of the list of countries with a high frequency of piracy attacks in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The regularity of the attacks according to the Bureau has always been more than 30, the highest globally and in Africa. Bello lamented that the reports led to the imposition of high war risk charges on Nigeria.
He said the reports were mostly not accurate, adding that during the accumulation of the piracy list, Nigeria was usually not consulted.
He blamed the media for the stories pitching Nigeria as the country with the highest rate of piracy attacks.
He said, “The media sometimes give rise to this false impression about what is happening in Nigeria. I know there is somebody in Lagos who does nothing but sits down and monitors the headlines in Nigeria about piracy and that is what will determine the war risks.
“The Nigerian cargo owners and the Nigerian authorities are not consulted when this piracy list is being drawn up.”
Bello said after the calculation of the war charges, Nigeria was still left with other charges including bunker and currency adjustment.
“They disappear with the situation but we still have currency factor adjustment, bunker adjustment; whether the cost of bunker is up or down, it does not matter to them. The cost is just not right.
“That is why the NSC has invited about six African countries. It has invited the Global Shippers Forum to come to Nigeria to look at this extra cost; even the local shipping charges, we have to look at them.”
According to him, the cost does not make Nigeria competitive especially against the backdrop of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.