Shippers’ Council Intervention Saves NSPM N24 million
By Okezie Nnadi
The Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC) intervention has saved the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM) from losing over N24,000,000 .00 with additional release of nine containers at Grimaldi Shipping Line Agency in Nigeria.
In a letter of complaint signed by Babalola Luqman Niran, Chief Executive Officer, International Bulk Cargo Logistics Limited, a freight agent to Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc , alleged that Grimaldi refused to release the nine containers covered by the following bill of lading : S321620064 and S321620063 respectively.
The Printing and Minting firm further lamented that they had secured customs release and had obtained the shipping and terminal charges of N10,425,950.00 via the Grimaldi website yet the carrier was hard-nosed over the fuss.
According the council’s periodic “Complaints Newsletter”, an in house publication of Complaints Unit, Nigerian Shipper’s Council April – June edition , the complainant however stated that on approaching the carrier’s office, they demanded for part shipment bill of lading number S321620063 which legally covers only one box out of the nine boxes as the two bill of lading are required for the whole boxes to be released.
The Printing firm further complained that upon presentation of the part shipment bill of lading, an invoice amounting to N24,956,510.00 was issued on the eight containers with abnormal rating of 149 days , while the nine containers have been withheld because of the part shipment bill of lading which accrued huge demurrage and storage charges .
In order to resolve the complaint amicably, a tripartite meeting was held where all parties were in attendance.
The meeting was chaired by the Head of Complaints Unit, Mr. Daniel Orume, a Deputy Director at the council, who appealed for stronger business relationship between and providers and the user of shipping services.
While responding, Babalola Luqman in company of two other staff of NSPM Plc , Messrs Ethel Peterside and Japhet Mfon affirmed to the complaint and requested for the council’s intervention.
Orume ,however asked the representatives of Grimaldi Agency Nigeria Limited, Mr. Nitin Senan , the Deputy Managing Director to shed light on the allegation, where he said “The containers on the two bill of lading could not be released separately because of the clause linking the two together.”
Nitin added that they received a letter from the Department of State Security DSS not to release the container on bill of lading number S321620063 until another letter is received from the DSS before the said container could be released.
On arbitrary rating , the Grimaldi Deputy Managing Director explained that the 149 days rating was done based on the previous transactions in order to forestall late return of their boxes.
He said Grimaldi decided to rate government agencies higher because of the past experience of late return of empty container.
He further stated that the rating cover damages that may occur, while the provisional demurrage covers ten days . However, due to Shipper’s Council Intervention, Grimaldi agreed for a downward review from 149 days to 20 days.
The periodic also stressed that after a lengthy deliberations, the following resolutions were reached; that the advance rating is 20 days and not 149 days; that the agent /consignee should as a matter of urgency engage the DSS to resolve the issue of the contentious container on B/L No. 321620063 being detained to enable Grimaldi proceed with the release; that the agent should immediate effect proceed to generate a new debit note reflecting the 20days rating , pay online and lastly, the agent or consignee should in line with the commitment made at the tripartite meeting return the empties without delay.
It was gathered that all parties involved in the meeting commended the Nigerian Shipper’s Council for the Intervention which in turn led to pleasantry .