INFLATION: Why CMA CGM’s surcharge must be resisted- Stakeholders

0
115
NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman

Except the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) timely resists a new threat by the CMA CGM over its alleged decision to unilaterally impose $400 dollars on every shipment to the two major ports of Lagos, and subsequently deter any other international shipping line wishing to similarly introduce arbitrary charges at ports, Nigeria will soon be hit by another round of spiraling inflation.

The CMA CGM had in an email sent to importers and clearing agents at the weekend, allegedly announced that effective from October l5, 2OI8, cargoes from any part of the world on (EMA CGM ships will attract extra “USU 400 / EUR 850 per 202  Dry and Reefer and USD 400 / EUR 350 per 402  Dry and Reefer”.

An industry watcher, Samuel Boluwatife Egbewole who made the observation in Ibadan on Tuesday, specifically noted that gains to be so made if the company is allowed to get away with the imposition would be a sufficient attraction for other shipping companies to instantly copy the idea.

Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), Mr. Hassan Bello, NSC Boss-- Maritime First Newspaper
Mr. Hassan Bello, NSC Boss

“It would change the ports’ financial climate. It means a mere clearing of 10,000 containers will freely and cheaply earn you an extra $4m, which directly implies a whooping N1.4billion. So, why would the others fold their arms and watch? Obviously, every other foreign shipping company would join; a spiraling inflation would be ignited, things would get harder for the masses, and that would not be in the best interest of the good work that President Buhari is doing!

“If NPA allows it, then, it would either be that the Authority lacks foresight or has lost interest in the protection of Buhari’s political interest!” he concluded.

Speaking in the same vein, an importer, Tony Emeordi who described the CMA CGM alleged imposition as mere “kite flying” also, said he was still waiting to hear what the Nigerian Shippers Council would do in respect of the threat.

“I see it as genuine kite flying. I also believe they may not be alone in this kite flying. The idea is probably, ‘CGM, you try it first, and if it works, we join! But, if they shout; we dismantle the idea and explore new avenues’. They are flying a kite and I would be glad to know what the Nigerian Shippers Council is doing about it”, Emordi stated, emphasizing the need for the Nigerian authorities to however, adopt new workable measures capable of effectively eliminating the reasons for the $400 surcharge.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has given indication to resist it, threatening to sanction CMA CGM over the decision for a unilateral imposition of $400 dollars surcharge on shipments to Apapa and Tin Can Port, in Lagos.

The NPA assured that the sanction would also be extended to any other international shipping line that may introduce such arbitrary charges at ports. It is however yet to indicate what nature of sanctions Nigerians should expect.

The CMA CGM in an email sent to importers and clearing agents at the weekend, announced that effective October l5, 2OI8, cargoes from any part of the world on (EMA CGM ships will attract extra “USU 400 / EUR 850 per 202  Dry and Reefer and USD 400 / EUR 350 per 402  Dry and Reefer”; basing its action on what it called disruption of its activities based on congestion in the two Lagos ports. The company also highlighted that: “port congestion at Lagos ports, Nigeria, is currently increasing our operational costs and generating severe service disruption for several weeks.’’

“CMA CGM will therefore implement the following Emergency Congestion Surcharge on Lagos import cargo, effective October 15th, 2018 (B/ L date) for FMC trades.”