Association wants more shippers’ association chapters
The President, Shippers Association Lagos State, Mr Jonathan Nicol, on Friday urged shippers across the country to come together and build shippers’ associations.
Nicol made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that, thereafter, the associations would merge and form the Federation of Nigerian Shippers Association.
“The Act says shippers’ associations should be established within the 36 states of the federation. Thereafter, they would come together, merge as one and FONSA (Federation of Nigerian Shippers Association) would be born.
“We have not been able to get all the states to establish shippers’ association but we are making a call for all other importers irrespective of what name you call yourself, you are a shipper. To come together as one and when we come together as one, do not forget that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) coined the word shippers.
“So if you are an importer, you are a shipper. If you are an exporter, you are a shipper. So it does not really matter what name you register your organisation, you are a shipper.
“So, all of us should come together and build the shippers’ associations across the country. When we are matured enough, FONSA will come naturally.’’
Nicol said that shippers preferred using the Lagos ports to clear their cargoes, adding that the Lagos ports were nearer to the end users of the cargoes.
“If you bring in your containers, they prefer to use the Lagos ports rather than Port Harcourt because the market is domiciled in Lagos.
“By the time they cleared their goods, they spread it to different outlets. Within one or two weeks they sell their goods off and they go back and make a turnaround.
“If you take your goods to the Eastern port, is a whole lot of competition there. So, rather than tie your goods down, they prefer to come to a market like Lagos, sell off and make a roundabout trip.
“It is the number of trips you make that determines your profit. They prefer to use the Lagos ports and go back quickly and make another trip.
“If you move your cargo to Calabar port; cars for instance, and you clear from the ports, now you want to bring those cars to Lagos.
“You have so many security check points on the road and it makes it very unpalatable for importers to go through the eye of a needle in ferrying their cars from Calabar to Lagos.
“So, is like you are buying another car because of the check points and is one of the reasons why they prefer to use Lagos ports.’’