Business Hilights
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Cargo Defence Fund’ll assist Nigerian shippers recover brokerage losses—NSC

Cargo Defence Fund (CDF), a strategic window of assistance created by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), is being revived to offer technical support to shippers who have run into losses due to poor handling of damages and brokerage logistics.

The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees headed by a chairman and membership of the board is drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country.

This was made public at a forum in Lagos by the Secretary of the Fund, Mr. Okwudili Daniels.

According to her, “the decision of the NSC to set up a Fund was due to the high rate of abandonment of legitimate claims either in the court or through arbitration in the carriage contracts”.

“Shippers who register with the Fund as members stand to gain an advantage as it provides technical and legal advice, loans to pursue litigation or arbitration, payment for risk management services, foreign legal representation, general risk management advice and convening alternative dispute resolution forum.

Continuing, she averred that “The CDF was established by the NSC to assist importers and exporters in the pursuit of their legitimate claims. Prior to the establishment of the Fund, the council noticed a very high rate of abandonment of legitimate claims by indigent Nigerian shippers who could not afford the costs of pursuing their legitimate claims either in the court of law or through arbitration as may be prescribed in the carriage contracts”.

“To provide a viable solution to this problem faced by the shippers at the time, the council established two similar service schemes initially known as the Cargo Protection and Indemnity Fund and the Cargo Litigation Fund. The schemes were later merged and formalised into the present CDF with a special unit created to form its secretariat.

“The Fund is a mutual scheme for importers and exporters in the sense that shippers contribute to the Fund by way of registration. The registration fee is paid into the Fund and when a registered member runs into a problem, the mutually contributed Fund is used to assist the member in solving the problem.”

Business Hilights recalls that over the years, it has been observed that some shippers do not even have required information and they blame their brokers in most cases. The scheme is, therefore, designed to help these situations so that shippers can continue in business after they have suffered losses.

NSC observed that over the years, shippers who were not aware of the fund always face serious losses due to poor handling of their cases in matters of brokerage infractions.