The lack of proper and prompt clearing of goods at the Nigerian ports in Lagos, State Nigeria has resulted in partial port congestion.
The president, the Shippers Association Lagos State, Mr Jonathan Nicol, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.
Nicol urged the Federal Government to restructure the import policies and offer appreciable incentives to shippers in the country.
“There is partial port congestion now at the ports.
“Goods are not cleared promptly because our banks are rigid in supporting shippers and importers on viable loan transactions; even though the interest rates are prohibitive.
“Non-envisaged exchange rate at the time of clearing our cargoes has also placed extra financial burden on importers,’’ he added
The association’s president appealed to government to simplify conditions of doing business in Nigeria.
“Recently, due to security challenges, they say 211 items have been placed under Import Control by the National Security Adviser’s (NSA) office.
“Meaning that such items must have the END USER’S CERTIFICATE. It is a document obtained under the authority of the National Security Adviser.
“It (certificate) takes between 1 to 2 months to obtain on-line. As a result of this, a lot of cargoes are trapped in the ports nationwide,’’ he said.
He said that this was already inducing port congestion, adding that the cost of clearing goods would increase.
Nicol said that some goods would fall under “overtime cargoes’’, adding that “it’s not the fault of the shipper’’.
He urged the NSA to provide a means of avoiding demurrage by importers from the shipping and terminal operators at the time of issuing the End User’s Certificates.
Nicol said the NSA should also inform the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) not to place such goods on overtime.
“This was not anticipated before shipping our goods.
“Shippers are lamenting and are close to extinction. This will gradually affect industrial development in Nigeria,’’ he told news men