Barely two days of announcement of an increase in dollar exchange rate for calculation of import duty by the Nigeria Customs Service, foremost vehicle terminal in Nigeria, PTML Terminal at Tin Can Island Port Lagos has slammed an increment in storage charges on imported vehicles, to as high as forty five percent, a development which freight forwarders have kicked against.
The terminal argued that following the removal of subsidy on Petroleum, it’s cost of operation has increased, hence the need for an increase. Freight Forwarders have however lamented that, the cost of clearing an imported vehicle is already high, and that many of them could no longer afford to even come to the port to carryout their businesses due to hash economy. “PTML would like to bring to the attention of its esteemed customers that the current economic conditions of surging inflation, coupled with devaluation of currency and removal of fuel subsidy have caused the operational costs to increase multi-fold.
“Hence, having received the endorsement of relevant authorities, it has become imperative to restructure our terminal tariffs from 1% July 2023” This increment is coming Two months after Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) declared support for the terminal to increase its charges.
The union in a press statement had said it is supporting hike in terminal operators tariff, so that the terminals can fulfill their commitments to the dockworkers who are MWUN members.
“Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) wish to inform the general public and other relevant agencies, particularly the Nigerian Shippers’ Council of the recent call/proposal made by PTML and other terminals to the management of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to request for an increment in the vehicle/car tariffs which according to them has not been reviewed for over a decade.
“PTML and other terminals operators under the umbrella of the Seaports Terminals Operators (STOAN) has over the years borne the burden of wages, salaries, and allowances; with management of Dockworkers as in saner economic climes, which unfortunately they cannot further shoulder due to general inflation rate, deteriorating economic condition; increasing operational/administrative costs; high rate of exchange value and other such economic factors.
“Consequent to the above, PTML and other terminals operators have indicated their inability to meet with the provisions of the minimum standard of Dock labour, which they recently negotiated and signed for implementation as was supervised by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and NIMASA; unfortunately, the prevailing situation in the nation’s economy had directly hampered their capacity to implement the subsisting NJIC agreement.
“As a result of the above and the inability of management to meet its obligations, and Dockworkers expectations, there’s now rising tension amongst the rank and file of our Dockworkers members in all the terminals, ports, jetties, and all oil and gas platforms.
“We, therefore, call on the management of NSC to give kind consideration to the proposal of PTML and other terminals operators for a review of the vehicle/car tariffs and other freights charges as obtained in ENL, Josep dam, Port and Cargo, and other terminals alike to enable them meet their obligations to our members – Dockworkers to forestall an imminent break down of industrial peace in our nation’s seaports as they are the economic regulators in this sector” the union had said