To attain its goal of exchange rate stability in the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has handed down some monetary policy measures to operators in the maritime industry. Under these measures, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has further been empowered to monitor repatriation of funds and confirm payment of shipping charges and freight rates.
At a stakeholders’ meeting in Apapa a forthnight ago, called at the behest of the apex bank, it was resolved that all foreign shipping companies or agents should henceforth maintain Disbursement Account for settlement of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Chandling fees and other local shipping charges .
To check the forex excesses of foreign shipping firms and terminal operators, local shipping agents will no longer be allowed to access the interbank market to pay statutory charges. “However, for the payment of freight and charter party fees, a confirmation of the reasonableness of rates charged would be carried out by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) as a requirement”, our source added.
Also, remittance of demurrage arising from delays encountered by vessels will be allowed but subject to confirmation by the NSC, while submission of evidence of the dates of arrival and departure of vessel obtained from NPA and subsequent remittance be made with interbank funds only.
Other resolutions reached at the meeting attended by representatives of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Shipping Companies, Shipping Agents and Money Deposit Banks, include that demurrage arising from over stay of containers should be remitted to the principal without delay, even as they called for further consultations on the modality for remitting demurrage charges.
Other agencies represented at the meeting include; NIMASA, NPA, as well as representatives of freight forwarding associations.
MMS Plus Weekly gathered that these measures are part of the pro-active steps taken by the new CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to stabilize the exchange rate and build up foreign reserve.
Since assumption of office he has maintained a monetary policy stance that is consistent with the liquidity conditions in the economy in the interim.
Earlier, CBN had increased the length of time non-oil proceeds could stay with banks before repatriating same to the exporters’ domiciliary account.
The circular reviewed the guidelines for the repatriation of export proceeds to 180 days from the day of shipment, while the repatriation of proceeds of oil exports remain 90 days from the date of shipment.