The Shippers Council of Niger has thrown away an agreement it signed with Nigerian Shippers’ Council to ship transit cargo through Nigeria.

The country has instead decided to ship its cargoes through the ports of Cotonou and Ghana.

The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, confirmed this.

He spoke in Lagos on Friday at a seminar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Freight Forwarders Group.

He said the operators from Niger Republic found it easier moving their cargoes through Ghana and Cotonou ports than Nigeria’s.

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Bello, who spoke through the Assistant Director, Enforcement and Compliance, Public Service Department, NSC, Mr Akujobi Chukwuemeka, listed time wasting, insecurity and poor customer service among the reasons why the operators refused to honour the agreement with the Nigerian agency.

He said: “If it will take them two days to clear their consignment in Cotonou while it takes them two weeks to do that in Nigeria, they will choose Cotonou.

“So, they abandoned that agreement we had with them. If you go to Shippers Council, you will still see them there, but they are not doing anything.“

Bello decried the poor customer service delivery in the seaports, noting that it was one of the major causes of inefficiency and the reason why most importers preferred to clear their cargoes through ports of neighbouring countries.

He blamed this on lack of automation of processes, time wasting in positioning containers and processing documents, lackluster and poor attitude of operators and government agencies to work and towards customers.

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