Following its directive to terminal operators to suspend all applicable storage fees on consignments (demurrage) for 21 days effective March 23, the Nigerian Ports Authority has directed that additional 14 days be added to the demurrage-free period.
Subsequently, the agency has directed that demurrage payment on consignment be suspended for 14 days effective from April 13.
In a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication, Mr Jatto Adams, the NPA explained that the extension was informed by the extension of the COVID-19 lockdown period for another two weeks.
The statement read in part, “This gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposes on businesses, the responsibility imposed on the authority to relieve 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.”
The NPA said it would not “tolerate any form of non-compliance with the directive,” adding that it would not hesitate to apply the appropriate sanctions.
Last week, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council also joined in the call for terminal operators to suspend all demurrage fees.