LEADERSHIP can confirm that a recent underwater cable cut in the Atlantic Ocean has resulted in significant challenges at the nation’s seaports, causing a backlog of several thousand cargoes. The incident has disrupted essential services in the maritime sector, including banking operations, Customs servers, and shipping company activities.

The disruption, which occurred in the early hours of Thursday, March 14, 2024, has led to internet outages affecting various sectors, including banking, telecommunications, aviation, and both formal and informal businesses nationwide.

MainOne, a leading West African digital infrastructure service provider, has announced that repairing the submarine cables may take one to two weeks, prolonging the disruption across affected sectors.

Over the weekend, clearing agents faced difficulties paying Customs duties due to network issues at banks, compounded by fluctuating Customs servers. This has resulted in frustrations and delays in cargo clearance, with importers incurring demurrage charges.

Oluwaseun Akinola, a clearing agent at Tin-Can Island Port, described the challenges of exiting cargoes amidst fluctuating servers and payment difficulties. He highlighted the urgency of resolving these issues to avoid further storage charges.

Alhaji Akeem Ayobiojo, Chairman of the Tin-Can Island chapter of the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), echoed concerns about server fluctuations and payment hurdles, emphasizing the impact on importers and the need for swift resolution.

Importers like Aminu Nababa have been unable to remove cleared vehicles from terminals due to payment challenges, resulting in additional demurrage charges.

In response, Ikechukwu Ababa called on shipping companies and terminal operators to consider waiving surcharges incurred by importers due to the cable cut, citing the unprecedented nature of the crisis and its economic ramifications.

The situation underscores the need for swift resolution and collaboration among stakeholders to mitigate the impact on businesses and the economy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *