Lagos port operator increases export charges, threatens Nigeria’s export promotion
Exporters at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) have expressed lamentations over the increment of Renomination Fee for export cargoes by Nigeria’s largest container terminal operator, APM Terminals, Apapa. This is even as they (exporters) said unchecked increments like this could dampen Nigeria’s export diversication efforts.
According to a mail made available to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively by some of the exporters on Tuesday; APM Terminals, Apapa on Monday notified exporters that with effect from January 1st, 2023, Renomination Fee for export cargoes at APM Terminals, Apapa will now be N30,000 per container from the initial N10,000 per container.
“Dear Esteemed Customer, This is to inform you that APM TERMINALS (APMT) has reviewed its Renomination Fee from ₦10,000 to ₦30,000 naira per container.
“This upward review became effective from the 1st of January 2023.
“Rest assured, CMA-CGM will continue striving to give you the best quality service. Accept our warmest regards,” a mail from one of the shipping companies sent out to exporters very late on Monday read.
Reacting to the mail, an Exporter, Mrs. Abigail Obiageli wondered why APM Terminals is increasing charges for Renomination Fee at this time of the year.
In the words of Mrs. Obiageli, “Times are hard right now in Nigeria. The economy is hard. To even put funds together to do export is challenging.
“Doing businesses at the ports in Lagos is extremely challenging financially. Everybody wants to make something out of you once they know you have a cargo inside the port. Every official of different government agencies stationed at the port subjects you to extremely difficult processes that squeezes out money from you at the end of negotiation. That’s on the government side.
“The terminal operators too have not been fair. All forms of charges come up unexpectedly. On Monday night, CMA-CGM, one of the shipping lines feeding Lagos container terminal, APM Terminals, sent a mail to exporters late in the night, informing us that APM Terminals Apapa has increased Renomination Fee for export cargoes.
“The fee was first introduced in 2019. Exporters kicked and complained, but nothing was done. The manner in which the fee was introduced without any recourse to the port economic regulator, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) gave everybody the impression that we are on our own at the ports.
“Now, the fee has been reviewed upward from N10,000 to N30,000. In this period when export business is extremely difficult financially, increment of charges in whatever form won’t help the cause of we exporters.”
Also speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, another Exporter, Pastor Folake Akindele vowed to take the issue up with the NSC.
“The NSC cannot continue priding itself as Nigeria’s port economic regulator while we exporters keep getting ripped apart from both ends by government and private officials at the ports.
“If new charges are not coming in from government officials, it is the private operators (terminal operators) that will be increasing charges. Things can’t continue this way.
Somebody has to speak truth to power. We can’t continue waking up to new charges at the ports every week.
“And the Federal Government keeps championing export diversication ideas every day. Is this how we intend to grow our export strength? With excessive charges, the urge to keep exporting will go down,” Pastor Akindele told the Nigerian Tribune.
Renomination Fee are charges slammed on cargoes that introduce slight changes in their itinerary at the ports. In Nigeria, it affects mostly export consignment when changes arise in stacking options for such cargoes
Source: Nigerian Tribune