Licensed customs agents operating at the nation’s maritime domain have said they may be forced to picket one of the roll-on-roll-off terminals at Tincan Island Ports, Five Start Logistics Terminal, over the about 400 per cent increase in storage charges.

The terminal operator in a circular sighted by the PUNCH on Monday, announced the new charges, citing Nigeria’s economic downturn and naira devaluation as reasons for the hike.

The terminal also said that the new charges would take effect from October 15.

The circular read in part, “Due to the current economic situation of our country, our operational expenses have increased exponentially as a result of inflationary pressures and Naira devaluation.

“The need to drive for improved service delivery has necessitated an upward review in storage charges for all cargoes with effect from 15th October 2023 as per below having obtained approval of relevant authorities.

“We greatly appreciate your co-operation and understanding. We are dedicated to bringing you the best services.”

Speaking on the increment, the Tincan Island Chapter Youth Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Mr Remilekun Sikiru, in a chat with The PUNCH, said the group may likely picket the terminal operators.

Sikiru who is the chief executive officer of Sikremstar Logistics Limited, said, “We need to have a meeting with them, we are planning to picket the terminal because of this increase.

“But the thing is that we are going to engage my chairman and other stakeholders to see what they can do.”

Giving details of the increase, he said, “Before, we have three stages of the period that they calculate, we have the first second, and third periods. For cars, the first period which is four days after the vessels arrive is N2,000 per day but they are now collecting N10,000.

“For the second period which is an additional four days, it was N2,500 but they are now calculating N15,000 for cars.

“Now for the third period for cars, we were paying N6,000 before but they have now increased it to N30,000.”

He added that, “Now for jeeps, we were paying N2,500 for the first period but they have now increased to N12, 500, the second period was N3,500 but now N20,000, and the last period we were paying N7500 but they have now increased it to N35, 000.”

Also speaking the Tincan Island Taskforce Chairman of ANLCA, Rilwane Amuni, said, that they were going to form a committee that would meet and discuss with the Nigerian Shippers Council.

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