Hike in haulage rate: A leap on inflation – Freight forwarders association

“We also urge the NSC to return to status quo by suspending the implementation of the disputed rate,  pending proper renegotiation covering the interest of all stakeholders."

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Hike in haulage rate, A leap on inflation, Freight forwarders association, Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC).Importers and exporters operating at the Eastern ports of the country have lamented the impending inflation, following an alleged 200 per cent hike in haulage rate by the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC).

The operators unanimously threatened operational shutdown and declared a seven-day ultimatum, asking the council to return to the status quo by reversing the rate.

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They made their position known to newsmen  on Wednesday in Port Harcourt,  while analysing the impending inflation if the hike was not moderated.

Addressing newsmen  on behalf of the group, Mr Joshua Ahuama, Zonal Coordinator, Association of Nigerian Customs Licenced Agents (ANLCA), said the meeting became necessary to enable the body collectively to reject the new rate, as it contravened the provisions of the NSC act.

According to him, stakeholders consultation is an integral provision of the agency’s Act

“Recently, the NSC had approved a 200 per cent increment on haulage rate  for transport owners and drivers operating under the maritime union of Nigeria.

“To this end, importers and freight forwarders association in the eastern zone have unanimously disputed the new rate because it is outrageous, arbitrary and unacceptable to all stakeholders in the zone.

“We have however, resolved to adopt all peaceful efforts. We started this move on March 14, by calling on the NSC to ensure proper stakeholders engagment and renegotiation.

“These measures are also expected to help all parties to reach a benchmark that would be in the interest of all stakeholders in the maritime value chain.

“We also urge the NSC to return to status quo by suspending the implementation of the disputed rate,  pending proper renegotiation covering the interest of all stakeholders.

“We are not on a selfish course, our demands are in the interest of Nigerians  because any slight increase on haulage rate will reflect on prices of goods in the open market. A businessman incorporates  total logistic costs into prices of goods,” he said.

The group, however, said they might be constrained to take drastic measures that would include suspension on all declaration of goods and payment of custom duties,  which could negativity affect national revenue and economic output.

Some members of the import and export  association who were present at the meeting included the Nigeria Shippers Association and the Aba International Traders Association.

Others are the Ultimate Importers Association,  the POP Importers Association, Nnewi Importers Association and Onitsha Importers Association.