Most Nigerian exporters don’t understand what the Cargo Defence Fund is about. This fund is a project of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, and set up because of the need to tackle problems associated with abandonment of legitimate Cargo Claims. Therefore it seeks to assist the often frustrated and confused Nigerian Shippers in their pursuit of legal remedies and claims recoveries.
The Cargo Defence Fund will aid the Nigerian importers and exporters because it is a mutual scheme where importers and exporters contribute via annual registration fees, so that when a registered member runs into problems, the fund could be used to assist the member in solving the problem.
The Fund is like the Nigerian equivalent of the Protection and Indemnity (P&I) insurance. Cargo Defence Fund was created to bridge the gap for indigent shippers.
In order to benefit from the fund, importers/exporters will have to pay a token as registration fee. Investigation shows that Nigerian shippers are usually at the mercy of the developed world and when there are cases of losses, Nigerian shippers suffer the most.
The Fund helps to appraise situations when importers/ exporters have a loss and if it is something that would succeed or it would be taken to court on behalf of such client. At the end of court proceedings, the Fund only takes 10% deduction for the administrative cost
It is sad that all Nigerian exports are done on Cost Insurance Freight (CIF). And when there is no platform to protect importers/exporters interest, business owners lose all their cargo and investments .
This is why the Fund plays the role that insurance companies play for importers/ exporters but it is better because the registration is only a token. It is sad that only few people are aware of the availability of the Cargo Defence Fund, hence low patronage. Shipper’s Council needs to create awareness so that more people can participate and mitigate losses attached to shipping.
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