As a first step towards an amicable settlement of their dispute, the Nigerian Shippersa�� Council (NSC) has instructed GAC Shipping Nigeria Limited to release the 50 containers of imported raw materials, believed to belong to Nestle Nigeria Limited, which it seized from the logistics company, JOF Nigeria Limited.
A�A�A�The instruction was handed down by the NSC Director of Special Duties, Mr. Ignatius Nweke, who represented the Executive Secretary at a mediation meeting in Lagos, and which both parties attended following a petition by the logistics firm.
A�A�A�Though GAC had insisted on JOF paying the sum of N37 million as penalty for delaying its empty containers, and another N19 million as demurrage on the 50 containers sinceA�March 7A�when they arrived Nigeria, Nweke said it would be fair to release the already cleared cargoes since they belong to a third party.
Following a petition from JOF over the seizure and related matters, the NSC Enforcement Unit had on last Wednesday sealed the business premises of GAC for over three hours.
A�A�A�The shipping line had claimed that JOF failed to return its empty containers early and consequently incurred N37 million as charges, and an additional N19 million as demurrage on the 50 containers for the period of seizure, insisting that it must collect all due penalties before releasing the containers.
A�A�A�Blaming GAC as complicit in the delay in returning the containers, JOF is contesting the N37 million and the further N19 million demurrage incurred for the period of the seizureA�of the 50 containers, which was calculated at N1.8 million daily since the containers arrived.
A�A�A�According to the NSC, however, GACa��s refusal to release the goods was against governmenta��s ease of doing business drive at the ports, just as it was wrong for a shipping company to seize as many as 50 containers of raw materials belonging to a manufacturing company.