Govt ready to mandate insurers to underwrite container deposit risks of Nigerian shippers
To off-set N1.7bn yearly losses in nation’s ports
Worried by the huge losses Nigerian shippers incur yearly in the nation‘s ports on container deposits, the Federal Government is fine-tuning frame works to mandate insurers to underwrite these risks.
The executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, disclosed this during the meeting of heads of maritime agencies in Lagos.
He lamented that the issue of container deposit has been a lingering challenge in the ports especially the additional cost for Nigerian shippers who are hardly able to retrieve the fund because of the myriad issues at the ports and the challenge of access roads.
According to him, container deposit has been itemized as one of the most problematic in the nation’s ports. Specifically, he explained that Nigerian shippers have incurred a yearly losses of over N7 billion at the ports.
The NSC boss said, “It is really not the fault of shippers that they are unable to refund the containers within the specified time frame because we know the holding bays are not working.”
He, however, said that the council is partnering the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to finalize the frame work to have insurance paid by shippers to cover the empty containers.
Bello said “Shippers pay N120, 000 for containers deposit running to about N1.7 billion every year for container deposit. This is huge additional cost of doing business at the ports besides, the road network are blocked, the holding bays are not working, then why should the shippers bear these risks?”
“We want to have an indemnity system that we have already discussed with NAICOM. There must be insurance underwriting of this risk, as we could extend the marine insurance regulation to cover containers. According to him, by the first quarter next year,, there will not be payment of container deposits at the ports