BREAKING! Importation drops by 40%, as importers abandon Nigerian ports for neighbouring countries

Importation drops by 40%, as importers abandon Nigerian ports for neighbouring countries

The Sun News Jan 12, 2023 12:04 AM

Importation drops by 40%, as importers abandon Nigerian ports for neighbouring countries
Against the backdrop of rising exchange rate and other exogenous factors, importation into the nation’s seaports dropped by 40 per cent, even as importers are abandoning Nigerian ports for neigbouring countries over high cost of doing business

Stakeholders who spoke with Daily Sun yesterday, said that incessant increases in Customs duty, falling of naira exchange rate and government policy somersault contributed to the decline in importation into the country.

The Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto, sexplained that importation has dropped by almost 40 per cent, in 2022 in the maritime industry even as the trend became worst than year 2021.

“Ordinarily, we thought our level of growth and development would have been more than this in the industry. I keep on telling everybody that we are crawling in the maritime industry, it is quite unfortunate.

“2022 was not a good year because on a monthly basis, from February our volume of import continued to drop and don’t forget we have challenges with naira, with the role of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not being consistent. We have a CBN that is always an interloper and involving itself in something that is not even its responsibility.

“We have a Ministry of Finance that is very docile, not really doing anything and above all, we have a too powerful Customs administration that nobody can control. So it not too interesting. Importers are not happy. That is why 40 per cent of them is dropping in the area of importation. And our importation continued to decline,” he added.

Meanwhile, he noted that the nation’s exportation is increasing that is the only thing is currently working for Nigeria.

“That is what I give to this administration. If you ask me what this administration has achieved in the last eight years, I will tell you is only our exportation. Any other thing, they have not done well. So in maritime industry, we did not fared well last year. We are supposed to have increased geometrically but we are still crawling. Above all, there is no employment created for Nigeria’s teeming youth, who are still apprehensive.

“I want to believe that government needs to look back and see what can be done to turn around the maritime industry in 2023. If I have my way with Mr President, I will just give him one or two advise, you will see that we will have a better maritime industry.

Drop in importation,” he stated.

Meanwhile, a former member of Presidential Taskforce on the Reform of Nigeria Customs Service; Presidential Committee on Destination Inspection, and Ministerial Committee on Fiscal Policy and Import Clearance Procedure, Lucky Amiwero, said maritime sector is really facing serious challenges that needs adequate attention.

“People are living the sector and going to Togo and other neigbouring countries. Nothing has been done to change the narrative. Maritime industry is the worst sector in the last seven years. Nothing has changed. They are just collecting money. They are just doing what they like.

“Customs is running a system that does not back by law. They do what they like so as NPA, terminal operators, shipping companies and everybody. We have a maritime sector bringing poverty and unemployment into the economy. That is why if you look at the sector, is not contributing anything into GDP,” he said.

He said that a lot of things have been done wrong in the sector, saying government is just interested in collecting money and not after the development of the sector.

Simon Ekpa

Simon Ekpa LL.M (Master of Laws) is a human rights activist, CEO, senior legal advisor at Ekpa & Co Oy, legal researcher, author, analyst, Finnish politician, Biafra agitator and a Finnish Military reserve.
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