The Association of Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) has urged the Federal Government to stop Intels Logistics Terminal, Onne Port, Rivers State, from collecting charges in dollars.
The group also seeks the reversal of the directive of former President Goodluck Jonathan that oil and gas cargoes coming into the country go through the private terminal.
Importers of cargoes in oil and gas sector are allegedly diverting goods to neighbouring countries’ ports because of the monopolistic nature of the directive, especially paying charges in dollars at the terminal and other alleged oppressive tendencies associated with it.
The group said if the Federal Government fails to act urgently, it might lead to loss of jobs as cargo diversion translates to revenue loss.
Its President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said the directive “is obnoxious, uncharitable and counter-productive” because of its negative effect on the economy, arguing that it negates the foreign exchange policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) designed to enhance the value of the naira.
The company, which has interests in Onne Port, Warri Port and Calabar Port, Shittu said, has been frustrating the efforts of the government to strengthen the local currency as it still collects dollars from users of its facilities.
Shittu alleged that some importers of oil and gas related cargoes have boycotted the use of its facilities and diverted their consignments to the ports of neighbouring countries as a result of the practice at Intels.
The Federal Government, he said, needs to show the political will to address the problem.
He said, “What the last administration had done was highly uncharitable and very irresponsible; what they did was to create a monopoly that is anti-people, and not in the interest of the economy.
“Everybody should have a choice of where they want to take their cargoes to. The government concessioned the ports and all of them signed the same documents. “Why do you have to force people to take their cargo to Onne so that they can charge them in dollars? Not only those, their charges are 300 times more than regular charges in other ports.
“We have embarked on a campaign to boycott Onne port facilities. In addition, we are prepared to take our oil and gas goods through Cotonou. If that discrimination continues, then we go through the border and pay duty.”
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