The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) yesterday said that the association would be monitoring the implementation of the Cargo Defence Fund that would assist shippers in their operations.
The Spokesman of SALS, Dr Kayode Farinto made this known in a media briefing in Lagos.
Cargo Defence Fund is an initiative of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), set up as a Cargo Protection and Indemnity (Cargo P & I) scheme.
It is established to mitigate losses incurred by shippers, especially small time importers and exporters, who may not have the financial muscle to pursue their legitimate maritime claims.
According to Farinto, the Cargo Defence Fund is very germane and shippers do not want it to be a moribund one or like that of the Cargo Vessel Finance Fund which has not been enjoyed by shipping companies.
“The Cargo Defence Fund is to assist shippers and help cushion the effect of COVID-19 or anything,” he said.
He also urged the government to look at trade facilitation as a core principle so that shippers could bring in cargo effortlessly.
He noted that whether people believe it or not the man she gets the highest blow, bash, barriers in trade was the shippers, unfortunate, and the government was not paying much attention to trade facilitation.
However, he said that shippers were set to vacate its second-floor accommodation at the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) corporate headquarters over what the association labelled as lack of enough protection for cargo owners.
He said that maybe if shippers in Lagos are not housed under the NSC accommodate, their voices would be listed.
“Shippers are very important in the industry, they are the golden chicken that lays the golden egg, without shippers, and there will not be any cargo.
“In the NSC’s Act, a shipper is the direct owner of the cargo.
“Section 3, subsection C of the Act number 13 that establishes the council also said that the council is to encourage the formulation of shippers association all over the country.
“Unfortunately, the role of the shippers in the industry shows that shippers association have not been carried along and they will partner with agencies to make ourselves be heard,” he said.
The spokespersons said that shippers believe in the leadership of the NSC, but urged that they carry shippers along so that there would be a collective responsibility, the decision on issues that affect them, particularly trade.
“The shippers must be protected, encouraged and empowered.
“Federal government should not pay lip service to trade facilitation because if trade facilitation is achieved, there will be simplicity and projection in cargo clearance and generating of employment to our teaming youth.
“This is the basic things we must pursue in this year,” he said.