Amaechi charges committee to eliminate delays, corrupt practices of shipping



Amaechi charges committee to eliminate delays, corrupt practices of shipping

By Lucy Ogalue, Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi tasked the African Shippers Union Council (UASC) Committee of Experts to ensure that all cost elements related to delays and corrupt practices are eliminated of the system.

Amaechi, who was represented by Auwal Suleiman, director of maritime transport at the ministry, said this during the UASC’s African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) meeting and mini awareness-raising workshop on Tuesday in Abuja.

“I want to draw the attention of UASC to the interrelationship between the cost of transport and trade.

“Transportation provides mobility that ensures the movement of goods from production centers to areas where they are needed most. High transportation costs translate into high landing costs for goods.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of transport costs in the overall cost of goods is between 35 and 40%, while in the developed economies of Europe, Asia and America, it is less than 10%.

“It is therefore the duty of your committee to analyze the cost component of the cost of maritime transport in the region and to ensure that all the cost elements linked to delays and corrupt practices are eliminated from the system.

“We must identify the anti-competitive behavior of multinational maritime operators in the region which is directly linked to the high cost of transport in West and Central Africa,” he said.

According to the minister, the federal government is aware of the unreasonably high cost of transporting goods to and from sub-regional ports.

He said this was due to high freight rates, poor infrastructure and arbitrary surcharges such as war risk surcharges, port recovery, port congestion, peak season surcharges, bunker adjustment. and the currency adjustment factor, among others.

He said: “I am also aware that Union member councils are concerned about the lack of consultation, timing and cost structure of these surcharges.

“These surcharges are mostly unilateral and sometimes a new nomenclature introduced by multinational shipping companies / lines without consultation with sub-regional authorities or shippers.

The process of introducing these surcharges lacks transparency and may not be based on verifiable and available statistics.

“These surcharges represent huge sums of capital flight from sub-regional economies and thus deplete limited foreign exchange reserves. “

Amaechi expressed optimism that the committee would critically analyze the cost structures and units of various charges and surcharges, establish the parameters of the shipping companies used to determine their charges and surcharges.

According to him, the committee should recommend measures to guard against the future imposition of arbitrary surcharges and the unilateral introduction of a new nomenclature by multinational shipping companies.

However, the Minister affirmed the federal government’s commitment to adopt the results of the committee’s work and implement them in order to reduce the cost of doing business, promote efficiency and promote competition.

Nigeria‘s news agency reports that the two-day meeting brought together delegates from 19 UASC member states.

Source: NAN

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