•Urge FG to sensitise maritime industry
The recent call by the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh for an end to War Risk Insurance on Nigeria bound ships has received backing from Importers and Customs Brokers groups in Nigeria.
The leaders of the shippers who spoke in Lagos at the weekend called on NIMASA to energise sensitisation of the industry to educate stakeholders on how much the war risk insurance is an extra burden on the Nigerian economy, especially now that the Federal Government is struggling to put the economy on steady growth again .
They stressed the need for the international maritime community, especially the Maritime Organisation of the West and Central Africa (MOWCA) to support Nigeria in ensuring that the war risk insurance is removed at the earliest possible time in view of the huge novel security arrangement the Nigerian government has put in place in the Gulf of Guinea to end pirate attacks and all forms of maritime crimes in the Nigerian and Gulf of Guinea waters.
President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike who spoke in Lagos, said that it is a call its time has come, adding that removal of the insurance premium will have a catalystic effect on the cost of shipping goods to Nigeria and moderate Nigeria’s rising inflation..
Nwabunike who was also the first chairman of the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), said: “It affects the cost of shipping goods and the importers transfer the cost to the final consumers.
The Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) template of duty calculation of Common External Tariff is not spared by the additional cost.” He further said: “If we are able to remove it, it will reduce the likelihood of inflation occasioned by the high shipping cost.
Once we are able to remove it and remove the cost burden on consumers, appreciable level of the impact will be felt in the economy in general”
In the same vein, President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr Lucky Amiwero called on the Federal Government to assemble a team of experts on the issue, while sensitizing the global maritime industry on the milestones achieved in the Deep Blue project.
Amiwero described the imposition of additional insurance costs on shippers bringing cargoes to Nigeria as a fallout of insecurity in the country. He however, pointed out that the recent efforts of the government give hope that the situation can be redeemed.
He urged the Federal Government to interact with industry experts and stakeholders in the local and global insurance sector to create awareness and reassurance that Nigerian waters have become safer after due confirmation.
The team of experts , according to him can fashion out a national strategy on addressing the critical matter while interfacing with the country’s maritime authority to monitor progress being recorded with the recently commissioned assets.
He said the additional cost was not unduly placed on the country and that efforts should be intensified to achieve safety of vessels, cargoes and crews on our waters while adequately communicating for it’s removal.
According to him, companies benefitting from the payments are not Nigerian companies and their profiteering from it does no good to the country