A study by a leading accounting firm, Akintola Williams Deloitte, showed that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) processes are responsible for about 82.1 per cent of the charges incurred by consignees.
Specifically, the accounting firm blamed the high cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports on the NCS and other government agencies.
This was contained in an industry report titled “Public Private Partnership (PPP) as an anchor for diversifying the Nigeria economy: Lagos Container Terminals Concession
as a Case Study” which it released over weekend.
According to the accounting firm, its value chain analysis of a 20-foot container laden with cargo worth N44.42million ($100,000) imported into Nigeria from China, revealed that about N6.5million would be required to clear and transport the container out of the port.
It said of this amount, about N5.3million (representing 82.1 per cent) is paid to the NCS as Import Duty, Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), Port Development Surcharge and Value Added Tax.
The firm further noted that other actors in the value chain include Shipping Companies, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Terminal Operators, Clearing Companies and Haulage Services providers.
It said Shipping Companies are responsible for 13.8 per cent of the port cost (N897,000); Terminal Operators 1.8 per cent (N117,000); Customs 82.1 per cent (N5.3million); Transporters 1.1 per cent (N71,500) and Clearing Agents (N78,000).
The report added: “The value chain of a typical container terminal operations begin with the shipment of the goods through a shipping line to the host country. The Consignee pays the freight charges for the shipping as well as the container deposit fees. Demurrage charges may apply where the Consignee fails to return the containers on time.
“Upon arrival of the container at the Nigeria port, the Consignees pay Terminal Handling Charges, storage charges, delivery charges and customs examination charges to the Terminal Operators. In addition, the Consignees also pay the relevant customs import duty.
“Consignees pay for logistics services to get the goods out of the terminal.
“Consignees pay for services of the clearing agents (where applicable). Large companies are directly responsible for clearing their goods.”
Notwithstanding their huge investment and meager earnings, the report stated that Terminal Operators bear the burden of most of the challenges at the port.
“Terminal Operators face huge challenges in the area of storage as the terminals are used as “cheap storage warehouse alternatives” by cargo owners.
“The current policy provides for a free 3 days storage after which a charge of N900 is applied per day and regulated by the NPA. Importers take advantage of the low storage charges offered by the Terminal Operators to store their imported goods at
the terminal as opposed to a site warehousing facilities that charge as much as N60,000 per day,” it stated.