The Council has two key projects for providing critical support to shippers. These are:
The Cargo Defence Fund:
The Cargo Defence Fund scheme was launched on the 30th of May 2001 to provide legal aid to shippers in pursuit of their legitimate maritime claims, especially in litigation and also to provide arbitration services for shippers.
The Fund is limited by guarantee and is open to subscription by shippers. Although, currently solely funded by Nigerian Shippers’ Council, an independent Board of Trustees made up of eminent private sector practitioners oversees the Fund and it is expected that subscriptions to the Fund by shippers and other stakeholders would grow.
Inland Container Depots (ICDs) and Container Freight Stations (CFS)
The Council initiated and, upon the approval of the Federal Ministry of Transport, financed a Feasibility Study for the establishment of Inland Container Depots nationwide.
The following factors led to the above decision:
The fact that Nigeria is a coastal country with large hinterland Seaport problems such as
- Cargo clearance delays
- High demurrage
- Sharp practices resulting in shipping business costing more
- Near obsolescence of cargo transport by rail
- Unreliability of road haulage
The benefits of the ICDs include:
Bring shipping services to the door-step of shippers across the nation Assist in decongesting the seaports and make them more user-friendly Help revive and modernise the railway as a primary mode for the long distance haulage of cargo Assist in the reduction of overall cost of cargo.