The Senate has moved to review the exorbitant increase in shipping fees by mandating its Committee on Marine Transport to engage with stakeholders in the shipping industry and Nigeria Port Authority (NPA).
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Ifeanyi Ubah, a senator representing Anambra South under the platform of Young Progressive Party (YPP).
In his submission, Ubah noted with great concern the plight of traders, who were compelled to pay the astronomical and unjustified charges on their containers.
Giving a graphic picture of the fees charged on Nigeria traders with their counterparts in other West African subregions, the lawmaker said a close look at the charges show: Ghanaian traders pay $3,200 from China; Cotonou $3,000 from China while Nigerian traders pay $8,500 from $3,200 a few months ago.
The senator lamented that the discriminatory hike on the charges on Nigeria had caused unbearable hardship to Nigerians importers and called on the upper chamber to wade into the matter with a view to review and reduce the charges.
He further noted that the imposition of these exorbitant charges on Nigerian-bound cargoes from $3,500 to $8,500 by shipping companies were introduced at a time the nation was still trying to get out of the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
The lawmaker lamented that arbitrary introduction of the excessive shipping charges would strangulate Nigerian shippers and importers.
He cautioned that “if we do not rise up and defend our nation from this economic sabotage, this development can cause a spiral inflation rate on the economy.”