Ebola: European shipowners increase freight rates on Nigeria-bound cargoes




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As a result of the out-break of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in West , European ship-owners have increased freight rates on cargoes and imposed surcharge on crew and vessels coming to Nigeria and other countries battling to contain the virus, according to reports from Vanguard.

This was disclosed by Chief Adebayo Sarumi, President, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, NCS, in Lagos.

Sarumi, said Nigerian importers expressed fears over a likely increase in the freight rate of cargoes to Nigeria as a result of the presence of Ebola virus in the country.

Sarumi said the fears had become a reality as the insurance rates had been increased, while surcharges had also been imposed.

Commenting on the increased freight rate, Director General of the Chamber, Mrs. Ify Akerele confirmed the development, saying the situation was very bad because Ebola was real.

Akerele explained that rates had been increased because Nigeria had become a high risk area, urging that government do everything possible to bring the situation completely under control.

is a tight situation, we can only complain, but there is nothing we can do, all hands must be on deck to contain the virus.

“The man that took the virus to Port Harcourt has further compounded the problem, we were almost bringing it to an end,” she said.

The chamber’s boss, however, blamed the foreigners of wanting to take advantage of the situation to increase rates, adding that the same was done during the unrest in the Niger Delta.

She said that despite the Niger Delta situation, they were still coming, and had chosen to increase the freight rates once more because of the presence of Ebola in the country.

She also disclosed that Chamber will initiate moves with relevant government authorities to negotiate the increase in freight rates with the foreigners.[eap_ad_2]

“We will use the forthcoming African Summit coming up this month to discuss the issue of negotiation with the European ship owners,” she stressed.

Also commenting on the increase, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello said that increment was brought to the Council’s notice a few days ago.

Hassan explained that the foreign ship-owners had a penchant for increasing rates at the slightest opportunity, adding that the recent increment in rates was unjustifiable.

He said the Council would use instruments of the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, to contest the increment in rates.

“It has just come to our notice but not officially, I know that the penchant is for carriers to raise all sorts of premiums at any given opportunity.

“I remember the war risk clause which is slapped on cargo on the pretence that Nigeria is at war, these are unjustifiable surcharges.

“We are going to use the Global Shippers’ Forum to talk the issues,” Hassan added.

Speaking on implication of the increased rates on the economy, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, a logistics expert and President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, said the increment would result in increased cost of goods and services as importers will transfer the increased cost to the .

Amiwero explained that the increment was not justifiable, since ship crew often left their vessels, adding that freight could only be increased on the ground of congestion and poor port operation.

“Will the ship-owners increase freight rates in the States because there is \AIDS in America, so they cannot do that on health ground,” he declared.[eap_ad_3]