According to reports, the federal government and private terminal operators have generated a whooping N2.96 trillion from port operations, charges and levies.
This is just as the federal government also raised an estimated N112 billion from insuring over 700,000 cargoes between 2010 and 2016.
The N2.96 trillion was generated by the federal government through some of its agencies, including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and private terminal operators operating at the nation’s seaports in three years.
The seaports include Apapa, Tin-Can, Delta, Calabar, Warri, Port Harcourt and Onne ports.
It was gathered that during the period under review (2013 to 2015), the Nigerian ports received 1,396,057; 1,551,540 and 1,317212 TEUs as well as 5,369; 5,349 and 5,090 vessels called at various Nigeria ports respectively.
At N87,682 per clearance of 40ft container, however, private container terminal operators raked in N264 billion within the said period.
Findings by Newsmen also showed that the Nigeria Customs Service generated N2.71 trillion in three years from duty payments collectible on imported cargoes into the country.
The breakdown revealed that the NCS generated N833.3 billion in 2013, N977.09 billion as well as N904 billion in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
On its own, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) generated N156 billion from its statutory three per cent charges on international inbound and outbound dry and wet cargoes and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) three per cent statutory levy.
The agency generated N39 billion ($242.3 million at a prevailing rate of N160/$) in 2013, N46.1 billion ($288.1 million) in 2014 and N70.8billion in 2015.
The agency’s revenues saw an increase in 2013 to $242.3 million and $288.1million in 2014 when it made the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) to begin payment of the three per cent statutory levy.
On its part, the NPA generated revenue, both in naira and dollar, from oil terminals, compulsory Pilotage amounted from vessels calling at the nation’s ports and lease fee charges from terminal operators operating at all Nigeria seaports.
According to the Authority, N428 billion was generated in naira and dollar for the federal government under three years.
According to a document sighted by Newsmen which contains the figures, while NPA generated $2.1 billion in the year under review, the revenue generated in dollars in 2013 was as follows: $311.8m (N50 billion at ), $893.7m (N143 billion) and $873.7 (N140 billion at prevailing rate of N160/$).
NPA also generated N12.1 billion and N11.9 billion in naira between 2014 and 2015, while the Authority collected N5.1 billion, N8.4 billion and N6.9 billion as lease agreement fee from terminal operators in the year under review
Also, the dollar revenue generated from oil terminals and compulsory pilotage amounted to $35.5 million in 2013, signaling an increase of 12.3 per cent over the $36.1 million in 2014. However, unlike the naira generated revenue, the dollar revenue collected from terminal oil due and pilotage increased by 12.3 from $33.9 million in 2014 to $38.1 million in 2015.
Meanwhile, the ship traffic statistics at Nigerian ports has reflected that a total number of 19,833 vessels berthed at the various ports between 2013 and 2016. Similarly, 543,842,425 tonnages were registered within the period under review.
The year 2014 recorded the highest number of vessels berthed as well as tonnages registered, while the least were recorded in 2016.
While Tin Can Island Port handled the most ships accounting for 33% of total number of ships that berthed in all ports and 32% of total tonnage registered in all ports, it is closely followed by Apapa port which accounted for 28% of ships that berthed as well as 25% of total tonnage registered and Onne port which accounted for 15% of ships that berthed as well as 30% of total tonnage registered.
Also, cargo traffic statistics revealed that a total of 312,185,808 cargo traffic was recorded at all Nigerian ports between 2013 and 2016, even as 196,851,236 or 63% of the cargo traffic were inwards, while 115, 334572 or 37% were outward.
Apapa port handled the most number of inward cargoes, accounting for 39% of total inward cargoes and closely followed by Tin Can Island and Delta ports, accounting for 31% and 11% respectively. Calabar port accounts for 4.29% to record the least.
Similarly, Onne ports handled the most number of outward cargoes, accounting for 80% of total outward cargoes and closely followed by Delta and Apapa ports accounting for 10.63% and 3.52% respectively, while Calabar port accounts for 0.05% to record the least.
The number of passenger traffic within the period under review was put at 52,262, while the highest number of passenger traffic was recorded in 2013.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has gained an estimated N112 billion between 2010 and 2016 from insuring over 700,000 cargoes from about 1.1 million cargoes that enter into the country on a yearly basis, Newsme checks have revealed.
About 300,000 of the imported cargoes, however, parade fake insurance papers.
Although there is no fixed premium for marine cargo insurance since the price is determined by some factors, mainly the worth of the goods in a cargo, there are indications that the least valued cargo is worth N10 million, while insurer demands 0.2 per cent of the N10 million, translating to N20,000 per policy.
Based on this, the country rakes in at least N16 billion on a yearly basis, aside the over N6 billion the insurance industry is losing to fake cargo insurance racketeers annually.
Moreover, some cargoes are worth N100 million or more, translating to N200,000 per policy, meaning that the insurance industry could have made more than the estimated N16 billion per annum.
And with the Naira devaluation, coupled with the plan of insurance industry to rid the port of fake insurers, as well as federal government’s ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders, which means the vehicle importers will have to use the port the more, the country could exceed the estimated N16 billion yearly premium it is raking from marine cargo insurance.
But the existence of fake marine insurance in the maritime sector is giving the insurance industry sleepless night, as they keep losing billions of Naira to these fake racketeers on a yearly basis.
According to experts, the current 300,000 cargoes using fake insurance, representing 30 per cent of the total cargoes in the country is worrisome and drastic steps need to be taken to address the issue.
Investigation shows that the fake insurers do issue fake marine certificates to customers at major centres where shipping activities are carried out, especially in Apapa and its environs in Lagos State.
Further findings by our correspondent revealed that one can get an Institute Cargo Clauses( ICC) “C” marine insurance cover, which is the minimum marine cover, for N2,500 notwithstanding the Insurance value.
Information has it that most of these fake certificates bear the names and logos of registered insurance companies, even though these insurers know nothing about these dirty deals. Others use fake names to cajole the unsuspecting public, while these policies were being sold at a cheap price.
It was learnt that cargo insurance is classified into three categories: ICC ‘A’ which has the most risk covered with ICC ‘B’ and ICC ‘C’ having less insurance coverage, with an importer expected to choose which one best suits him.
Explaining the reason for fake insurance at Nigerian ports, the commissioner for insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, had said Customs still have problems with the marine insurance.
Most of the insurances that are taken to cover imports into Nigeria, according to him, are expected to be insured by Nigerian insurance operators, but unfortunately, the Customs Service doesn’t have the facility to identify fake insurances.
He said, “So, what they do is that, once they cannot confirm if insurance is fake or where there is no insurance, they just add the value of insurance to calculate the CIF but they don’t pursue the insurance aspect which is a big loss to insurance and the Nigerian economy”.
To address this anomaly, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) had earlier collaborated with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to end fake insurances at the sea ports. The collaboration also seeks to ensure that all goods imported into Nigeria have genuine insurances.
According to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), the collaboration will include NAICOM building technical capacity for the Nigerian Customs to be able to detect fake insurances at the ports.
“The commissioner has graciously agreed to give us his team of experts who will now sit with us and train us on insurance so that we will have some of our officers and men who have some level knowledge of insurance. This is novel and we are sincerely grateful”, Ali said.
Speaking exclusively to Newsmen at the weekend, the Director-General, Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA), Dr. Sunday Thomas hinted that the association has expanded its Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) to capture marine insurance in a move to end fake insurance in the maritime sector of the economy.
He said currently, his association, through the NIID, has captured 50,000 cargoes on its database, adding that the capturing was still ongoing.
When concluded, he said, the NIID which is an electronic system that identifies original insurance certificates would help the customs to verify authentic certificates and subsequently clamp down on those parading fake insurance papers.
The NIID is an information technology-based system to facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistical and other information relating to insurance, while helping to check activities of fake documents.
While the NIID portal is the only central record of all insured vehicles in the country to ensure that only insured vehicles are driven on the roads, the website is used by the Police and other agencies to enforce motor insurance law and now marine insurance.
Marine cargo insurance covers the risks of loss, damage, expense and liability to goods during transportation as cargo from one place to another place.