Freight Forwarders: Hike in Haulage Rate Will Worsen Inflation

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Importers and exporters operating at the Eastern ports of the country, have lamented the impending inflation, following an alleged 200 percent hike in haulage rate by the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC).

The operators unanimously threatened operational shutdown and declared a seven- day ultimatum, if the council do not return to status quo by reversing the rate.

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

Speaking to journalists on behalf of the group, Mr Joshua Ahuama, Zonal Coordinator, Association of Nigeria Licenced Custom Agents (ANLCA), said the meeting became necessary to enable the body collectively 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. He said “Recently, the NSC had approved a 200 percent 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 engagement 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,” he said.

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