The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has drew the attention of Maritime stakeholders to series of economic wastage in Nigerian maritime sector which is capable of funding the nation’s budget with a total sum of 7Trillion naira if properly managed.
Delivering his paper at a one day talk shop which was organized by Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN ) in Apapa, Lagos. The Executive Secretary of NSC , Barr. Hassan Bello who said
“Prospects & Challenges Of Logistics Service As The Life Wire Of Nigerian Maritime Sector” .
Bello who didnt miss words stated that the sector has the potential to generate about a womping seven trillion naira annually as revenue to the Federal Government.
Nigeria’s budget for 2018 is eight trillion naira, with a difference of one trillion naira above what the sector has the potential to make annually.
Bello also disclosed that the sector equally has the potential to generate massive employment for unemployed youths. The Council boss however said that the present sorry state of the nation’s ports cannot give room for the realization of this.
He highlighted the bad situation of dilapidated port access road, comatose rail services, insecure inland water system, and inefficient/costly ports system as killers of maritime businesses.
While pointing out that it is only when government wakes up to address these challenges that the maritime sector can be develop. More so, Bello averred that the sector provides a multipurpose vehicle through which imported cargo are discharged to various destinations in Nigeria.
According to him, for the sector to contribute its quota to the economy, it has to be complemented by adequate logistical facilities and services.
He listed the logistics facilities as;.
*Efficient ports and terminals;. *Efficient multimodal connectivity;. *Good port access and inland road networks;.
*Efficient cargo delivery process and procedures at the port and border post;.
*Adequate off-dock facilities and services e.g ICDs, TTPs, CFS, etc, and;.
*Modern information, communication technology services and facilities, etc. are sine-qua-none for maritime sector development.
He noted that port logistics provide a gateway for goods and services in and out of a country. The NSC boss stated that port logistics serves as a link in transport chain between the inland and sea transport and the point of transfer from one mode to another, adding that it also provides a good location for value added logistics, where members of various interest meet and interact for handling and delivery of cargo.
In his own paper, the National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Eyis Amiwero described the gridlock on port access roads as an economic drain and national embarrassment.
Amiwero stated that the negative impact that the bad roads, potholes and gridlock constitute to the economy is massive and runs into trillions of naira which led to diversion of vessels to neighbouring West African Ports.
He noted that all the Lagos ports are surrounded by numerous tank farms and oil tankers which put the port environment at risk of fire disaster. Amiwero condemned the high cost and unwholesome practice by shipping companies and terminal operators who manipulate and exploit the system due to lack of regulatory agency to control the market power of the shipping/terminal operators who are owners of shipping line and terminaloperators.
As a way out of the problem, the NCMDLCA President called for the creation of control mechanism to monitor super-structure and infrastructure in line with the terms of the concession agreements.
He also suggested reducing the dominant position of market power in port activities through proper regulation and monitoring of terminal operators and shipping companies.