The Federal Government is working to introduce insurance as a substitute for container deposit which rob Nigerian shippers of over N1.7bn per annum .
Container deposit has been one of the most problematic issues in the nation’s port sector. This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, during the meeting of heads of maritime agencies in Lagos.
Bello said the Council was discussing with the National Insurance Commission to have a framework to have insurance paid by shippers to cover the empty containers. “It is not the fault of shippers that they can’t refund the containers within the specified time because we know the holding bays aren’t working,” Bello said.
He stated that the Council is partnering the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), to finalize the framework to have insurance paid by shippers to cover the empty containers. He said the container deposit has been an additional cost for Nigerian shippers who are hardly able to retrieve the funds because of the issues at the ports and the access roads
“Shippers pay N120,000 for containers deposit that’s about N1.7 billion every year for container deposit. This is adding to the cost of doing business. The roads are blocked, the holding bays are not working, so why should the shipper bear that risk? “We want to have an indemnity system and we have already talked with NAICOM. There must be insurance penetration as we could extend the marine insurance to cover containers. By the first quarter of next year, there will not be payment of containers deposit,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, stressed that no port system can be efficient without multimodal transport. According to her, the traffic gridlock that characterize Nigerian port access roads would continue until there are sufficient linkages with railways, inland waterways and piping to compliment the road mode.