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Maritime Industry Needs Clear-Cut Policy – Experts

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As Nigerians mark the country’s 62nd Independence anniversary, experts say the maritime industry needs a clear-cut policy to impact positively on the economy.
The experts stated this recently in separate  interviews in Lagos.
Acting President, National Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto,  said previous policies were not consistent and had not impacted positively on the maritime industry.
“The industry has not really gained much and we have not moved forward even with the port concession that we had.
“The port concession has added value to the port, but the government needs to change its approach.
“The government has not fulfilled its responsibilities in the initial port concession,” he said.
He explained that in reviewing the port concession, stakeholders should be carried along.
Farinto said as a way forward, government should look into the generalisation of the cargo throughput that terminal operators pay.
“There should be a Ministry of Maritime Affairs, separate from the Ministry of Transportation, so that in line with Sustainable Development Goals +SDGs) of World Bank, number 14, they would be able to fully harness the potential of the maritime sector.
“Most of the access roads to the ports are very bad. By now we need to have a port development plan to cover 2030 or 2040, because the ports we have now have been overstretched,” he said.
Also speaking, a shipper, Mr Jonathan Nicole, noted that there was need for the country to be self-sufficient so that it would reduce importation.
“At 62 we are managing to survive in the maritime sector and the inflow of goods has not been good for importers at all.
“At the moment the cost of doing business is high because of exchange rate instability.

“When naira is not stable, one cannot even plan. So, government should put policies in place to help importers,” he said.

Nicole, who is also a member of Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS), said importers incurred losses due to unfavourable policies at the port saying that if it continued like this for the next five years, the maritime sector would collapse.

“In the maritime sector, the only thing we are expecting is for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to work, and the issue of security should be looked into to ensure trade moves smoothly.

“Government should look at tariffs at port and the operations of Customs to ensure seamless operations at the port,” he said.
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UN Wants Nations, Partners To Tackle Piracy At GOG

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ITWF Warns Against Seafarers’ Criminalisation

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Maritime

Fuel Price Hike: PH, Bonny Passengers May Pay N4,000 Before Christmas

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Following the increase in petrol pump price in Rivers State to N230 per liter, Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) says passengers travelling to Bonny Island from Port Harcourt may have to pay N4,000 each before Christmas.
The Association said boat operators along Bonny routes are facing difficulties in getting petrol to power their boats to the Island.
BMTA said the petroleum pump price has also forced the prices of spare parts beyond the reach of the poor.
Disclosing this to The In Port Harcourt in a telephone interview, Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kim Dimkpa,  expressed regret that passengers to the Island are passing through difficulties, saying since the petroleum pump price hike, passengers now pay N3,000 to Bonny
He insisted that if the pump price is not checked, the Association would be forced to increase the fair to N4,000 before Christmas.
Dimkpa said in the past when the pump price were N150 per liter, fair to Bonny was N2,000 to ,N2,500 per passenger.
The Safety Officer appealed to relevant government agencies responsible for control of the pump price to come to the aid of the masses in Nigerian by ensuring that the price remains affordable.
“I call on the NNPC, and other relevant agencies for the control of petroleum pump price to assist the masses and reduce the price to N150 per litre to save lives.
“Boat operators, bus drivers and other end users depend daily on the product to survive.
“Our leaders are not helping matters, the masses are dying everyday of economic hardships, the rich are getting richer every day, while the poor masses are dying of hunger and starvation in the midst of plenty”, Dimkpa said.
He appealed to State Governors and other stakeholders in the industry to intervene in reverting to the old pump price of N150 per liter for consumers.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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