Grimaldi Agency Nigeria and Maerskline have denied the allegation that they delay refund of container deposit to shippers on return of the empty containers.
Mr Ascannio Russo, Managing Director of Grimaldi and Mr. Razak Ngula Director, Customer Care, Maerskline both made the denial when the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello visited them and other shipping companies in Apapa, Lagos on Monday April 15, 2018.
Bello visited the shipping companies as a result of complaints by importers and customs agents over arbitrary delay in refunding importers the deposit.
Responding to the visitor, Russo said that the shipper does not need to come to the office to get his refund, adding that company has an arrangement in which the shipper can just make a phone call or send an email to the company and get his refund within four days.
He also said that in effect, the company does not collect container deposits from all of its customers, explaining that those who pay container deposits were importers who are not well structured to be entrusted with empty containers.
He expressed concern that clearing of goods in Nigeria was an all-comer’s affair, saying this forced his company to register all customs agents doing business with them.
He disclosed that so far, the company has registered over 10,000 customs agents who do business at the PTML terminal.
Russo while assuring that ship manifests have always been given out to the relevant authorities in good time in both soft and hard copies said this will continue.
He commended the efforts of the Council in the dry ports and Truck Transit projects and said his company will be ready to facilitate movement of goods to the IDP with Bill of Lading.
While Razak Ngula also claimed that his company does not delay in the payment of refund on deposit to importers, he said that not all of its customers are required to pay container deposit.
Both Russo and Ngula pointed out gridlock in the ports environment as their major headaches.