The Federal Government has been urged to suspend the import policy on palletization of cargo.
The President, Shippers Association in Lagos State (SALS), Jonathan Nicol, made the call in Lagos on Friday.
The Federal Government had directed all containerised cargo coming into Nigeria to be on pallets from January 1, 2018.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said the new measure would aid manual examination of consignment, “while the country awaits the acquisition and installation of functional scanners at the seaports and land borders’’.
“If government continues with the palletisation policy, shippers will suffer and the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports will be high.’’
Nicol, however, said that the association expressed its concern so that government would not lose more cargo to the ports of neighbouring countries.
According to Nicol, some shippers have already left Nigeria as a result of unfavourable import policies.
“We expect government to restructure the entire maritime administration because shippers are facing a lot of challenges at the ports.
“The Nigeria Customs Service generated N1.03 trillion in 2017, which showed that most operators at the ports did what was right,” he said.
He disclosed that before now, shippers spent N50, 000 on a truck trip from Apapa to Ikeja, saying that they now spend N350, 000 as a result of bad port access roads.
“If government continues with the palletisation policy, shippers will suffer and the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports will be high,” he added.
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