The Nigeria Shippers Council and the National Insurance Commission on a Criterion to Deduct Committing Business amidst the Overture of Insurance Cover to Abrogate Perils in Ports Operation
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- Nigeria’s Shippers Council (NSC) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) are acting on a norm to curtail the cost of engaging business with the opening of insurance cover to abate risks in ports operation in the country. The Executive Secretary of NSC who’s doubling as a Barrister at Law – Hassan Bello divulged the news while a committee of NAICOM management paid him a courtesy visit in on July 21st, 2020 in Abuja.
NSC chief, in saluting the press stated, insurance cover in ports operations has suit important, put on the losses and damages that frequently chaperone goods on transit. According to him, cost of container deposit at the ports ranges between N150, 000 to N200, 000 underscoring the, billions of naira are lost due to the difficulty of transporting these containers across the country because of bad roads.
“As our function as ports regulator, we have our eyes on the cost of doing business in Nigeria. So, in the ease of doing business and the cost of doing business, we want to make our ports competitive and we have to moderate the cost. One of the costs is insurance deposits that shippers pay for taking the containers out of port.
“The containers are the assets of the shipping companies. They must be returned in perfect condition and so they don’t get that because as at the time the containers are not returned, the deposit is not refunded. When you return the containers in good time, you collect your deposit,” said the executive secretary.
He however stated that ports business is as not as easy as people think, saying, “it is not as simple as that. Access to port maybe difficult and if a container is not returned within a certain time limit, there could be a problem. One would lose his deposit or part of the deposit and so the shipper has to forgo the deposit.
“Sometimes the shipping company even when the containers are returned don’t pay the deposit in good time and that is money lost. So what we are saying is that there are a lot of issues like that, that we could have the insurance company to come to take care of,” he bolstered.
At this breadth, the NSC boss retained that insurance companies would by the collaboration, come in and mitigate the risks; thereby enhancing the ease of doing business.
“We want a policy on the participation of insurance companies in container regime. There is policy on goods in transit of course but we want the policies to cover most of the risk that Shippers, freight forwarders incur including demurrage, rent among others,” he added.
Bello furthered that, in abidance with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety protocols, the council was working with other maritime agencies to hurl the digitization of ports activities to limit physical contacts of players. He also announced that, the Kano State administration has voted about N2 billion for the structures around Zawachiki Inland Dry Port which has since been concessional to Dala Dry Port Nigeria Limited.
Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM – Olorundare Thomas asserted euphoria at the collaboration, remarking that, it would effect thoroughly on the maritime sector.
He noted: “As far as I can remember, this will mark one of the few times that any of our stakeholders will come with developmental ideas that will enhance the thought of the commission on how to deepen the market and how to make insurance relevant to our daily living.
“When it comes to trading, marine is in the frontline and insurance itself move with trading. Insurance started with marine insurance before fire, but marine is quite critical in the history of insurance development.
“With what we have gone through in the country and globally, we need to take insurance more seriously than what we have done in the past. “It is important for us to remember that what we are getting today as marine sector is not consistent with business transaction in the marine sector.
Thomas, pledged the readiness of the commission to do whatever is necessary to give the maritime sector the needed push to make it contribute its share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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