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Terminal operators groan under scarcity of dollars

–as NPA insist on dollar-denominated payment

—-concessionaires may push for increase in tariff
Eyewitness reporter
Terminal operators in the nation’s seaports are groaning under the acute shortage of dollars which adversely affecting their services.
The shortage was the direct consequence of the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria which recently stopped forex sale to the Bureau de Change(BDC).
Apart from leading to the scarcity of dollars, the policy has also sent Naira into a free- fall in the foreign exchange market, as the local currency has crashed to about N522 to a dollar.
This development has therefore set the terminal operators on a collision course with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over the payment of royalties.
Under the concession agreement, the terminal operators are expected to pay some royalties such as throughput charges, ship dues, and others to the NPA in dollars.
However,  a source close to the terminal operators told our reporter that the concessionaires are finding it difficult to access dollars because of its scarcity.
The source further disclosed that all entreaties to the NPA to receive the payment of these royalties in the Naira equivalent were futile as the agency insisted on payment in hard currency.
Princess Vicky Hastrup, Chairperson, Seaports terminal operators Association of Nigeria(STOAN)
It was further gathered that this hardline posture by the NPA, despite the challenges in accessing dollars by the terminal operators, may pitch the two parties against each other.
“The dollar scarcity is adversely affecting our services and profit margin.
“Apart from the fact that it is scarce, we get it at greater cost due to the continued fall in the value of the Naira.
“It is difficult to get it at the official rate while the rate at the black market is quite high”, a source close to one of the terminal operators lamented.
“Quite ironically, we are still charging old rates for our services as the regulatory agencies have refused us to make adjustments in our tariffs to reflect the current market realities” the source further said.
The source declared that the operators may have to push for an upward review of their charges if they hope to stay in business.
“The only way we can remain in business is to jerk up our tariffs or in the alternative, NPA should accept payment of its royalties in naira equivalent until the crisis in the forex issue is sorted out by government”  the source noted.
However, it appears that the NPA may not accede to such a request.
Even though the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the NPA, Mr. Olaseni Alakija, was not available for a comment as he was said to be away on an official assignment when our reporter went to his office,  but a source in the agency ruled out the possibility of such concession.
“At what rate in naira equivalent would they( terminal operators) want to pay?
“Is it in the official exchange rate or black market rate?
“If they want to pay the Naira equivalent in the official rates, who pays the shortfall?
“And you know the disparity will affect the revenue of the NPA as well as the remittances to the Federal Government.
“These are the knotty issues that may arise which may not allow the agency to accept payment in Naira.
“Even, apart from that, the dollar-denominated payment is in the concession agreement, so both parties should fully comply”  the NPA source, who begged to remain anonymous, observed.
In the same breath, the Nigerian Shippers’Council, which is the economic regulator, is unlikely to accede to the request for a hike in terminal charges.
It would be recalled that the Council has always maintained that the operators could not impose arbitrary charges on the users of their services, a matter the agency has constantly been at loggerhead with the operators.
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Customs

WCO commends Adeniyi for transformational leadership of Customs 

Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has received a commendation from the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) East and Southern Africa for its exceptional performance under the leadership of Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.
In a letter of commendation signed by WCO Director Larry Liza, the organisation hailed the NCS’s remarkable 74% growth in revenue over the past year, marking a significant milestone in customs administration.
“We extend our warmest congratulations to Comptroller-General Adewale Adeniyi and the Nigeria Customs Service for achieving a 74% growth in revenue in the last year. This outstanding feat has not gone unnoticed and stands as a testament to your dedication and effective leadership,” stated Larry Liza.
 Despite challenging security conditions, The WCO highlighted the NCS’s exemplary achievements across various fronts, including revenue collection, trade facilitation, societal protection, and stakeholder collaboration.
 “Under Comptroller-General Adeniyi’s guidance, the Nigeria Customs Service has demonstrated commendable resilience and innovation, particularly in streamlining operations and enforcing critical directives for the benefit of the nation,” remarked Larry Liza.
“We applaud the NCS’s proactive measures against smuggling and other illicit activities, which have reinforced border security and contributed to Nigeria’s economic stability.”
“We continue to draw inspiration from Comptroller-General Adeniyi’s leadership, which transcends borders and exemplifies excellence in customs management. Our congratulations extend to his team, stakeholders, and the entire nation of Nigeria,” added Larry Liza.
The WCO’s recognition underscores the global impact of Nigeria’s Customs reforms and reinforces its commitment to learning from and supporting successful strategies in customs administration under CG Adewale Adeniyi’s leadership.
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Headlines

CIoTA seeks collaboration with NIMASA, pays homage to Mobereola.

Dayo Mobereola, NIMASA DG

Funso Olojo 

The Executives of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) paid a visit to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

The executives, led by the President, Mr. Segun Obayendo, congratulated the DG on his appointment and pledged to collaborate with the agency in ensuring the transportation sector is professionally driven.

On his part, the DG welcomed the association and expressed the Agency’s readiness to partner with CIoTA towards achieving a robust transport sector.

Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the NIMASA DG, was conferred with a fellowship of the institute.

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Customs

Tin Can Customs generates N575.5bn in six month

Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tincan Island Port Command (TIPC) has generated N575.5 billion in revenue in the first half of the year 2024.
The Customs Area Controller, TIPC, Comptroller Dera Nnadi said this at a media conference held at the Maritime Reporter Association of Nigeria (MARAN) secretariat in Apapa, Lagos.
According to Nnadi, this is an improvement by N315.24 billion and represents a 221.13 per cent increase from the half year report in 2023 which had N260.26 billion.
“As at today, July 12, the command has generated N627 billion and we have been given a target of N1.403 trillion. This shows that significant efforts have been made in the command in meeting the target.
“TCIP operations in the last six months significantly aligned with the statutory functions of the Service in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement/anti-smuggling activities.
“The command’s operations were performed in consciousness of the theme of the 2024 International Customs Day, ‘‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose’.
“The command further enhanced the existing operational process to conform to the malady of the floating exchange rate regime with the use of technology made available by the NICIS II Software,” he said.
On enforcement, Nnadi noted that the command coordinated several 100 per cent physical examination under his supervision in collaboration with critical stakeholders to ensure that the command was freed of any form of non-compliance to the international trade cycle.
“Items discovered as concealments and seized during the period under review are one RZ17HD – 20P9964 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P9962 – rifle, one GAMO – T660739 – rifle, one pump action – MV0830249 – rifle, one RZ17TACTICAL – 30H21PT011992 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P9929 – rifle, one pump action – MV0830253 – rifle.
“Others  are one pump action – MV0830839 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P10115 – rifle, one pump action – V1690019 – rifle, one pump action – 52-H21PT – 3803 – rifle, one  RZ17HD – 20P9951 – rifle, one SAR9 SARSILMARZ T1102-21BV63826 – pistol, one RUGER AMERICAN PISTOL 9MM.
“Others listed: one SAR9 SARSILMARZ T1102-21BU51078 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADA 799424 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADC 122309 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADB 941276 – pistol.
“Also intercepted are one used Toyota Corolla Chassis Number: 5YFBURH1EP09601: 2014 model, Sterling High Quality shot gun cartridges green (12 cal 32 grams – 10packs of 25 pieces each), Sterling High Quality shot gun cartridges green (12 cal 30 grams – 20packs of 25 pieces each and 23 extra pieces).
“Included in the list are Seller & Bellot  Buck Shot – 55 pieces, Crossman Co2 12 gram cartridges – 123 pieces, 1USP CO2 Air Gun Pistol with Accessories Cal. 117 (4.5mm) BB, units of Mace Pepper Gun, to Department of State Services (DSS) for further agency function,” he said.
He said that during the period under review three plastic drums were intercepted concealed with several packets of Cannabis Indica, 46 bags containing 2,144 packets of cannabis indica all weighing 1,072kg seized from 1x40ft Container No. GAOU 669921/5 imported from Canada.
“The approximate street value of   the illicit substances is N3.216 billion.
“Also, 877 cartons of Barcadin cough syrup with codeine – 200 bottles of 100ml per carton and 82 cartons of Really Extra Diclofenac Sodium 50mg tablets – 600 packs per carton imported from India was seized.
“The approximate street value of the cough syrup is N964.33 million,” he said.
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