Aminat Isah, Abuja
Experts in shipping and maritime sector have predicted a loss of about 240billion dollars increase in bunker fuel with a new regime to be introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that by January 1, 2020.
A situation which would result in over 50 per cent increase in the cost of port–to–port sea freight by 10 to 20 per cent, with a resultant effect of more cost on final consumer as shipping linee strive to recoup the extra cost of fuel through introduction of bunker surcharges on cargoes.
Speaking on the envisaged increase in surcharges, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello, while speaking at a Sub-regional sensitisation workshop themed: Status of Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) in Union of African Shippers Councils UASC, member States in Abuja, and said new regime being introduced despite the high freight rate in the sub-region is relatively high compared to other parts of the world due to low vessel ownership in the region.
He further said it is of importance to pay utmost attention to the most dramatic fuel regulation changes ever implemented, as its ripple impact could have a great implication on the global economy.
He stressed that the FAL Convention would avail the participating African countries with an opportunity to fashion out strategies to address the peculiar challenges hampering the efficient delivery of services and competiveness at the ports.
“We need to work assiduously to ensure that necessary measures are put in place to reap the full benefits of the FAL convention by improving service delivery at our ports.
“Concrete actions will greatly minimize delays and reduce the cost of doing business,” he said.
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