Lagos Shippers bemoan high cost of cargo clearance

The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) yesterday attributed the high cost of cargo processing at the nation’s seaports to the multiple charges imposed on imported goods.

President of the association, Mr Jonathan Nicol, told journalists in Lagos yesterday that the five per cent Value Added Tax and the one per cent Pre-Arrival Assessment Report charge were some of the charges.

The others are the 35 per cent Automobile Levy and the Common External Tariffs levy.

According to him, the combined cost implication of the charges on one consignment, cumulatively takes away most of the shipper’s capital.

The shipper urged the Federal Government to critically address the outcry of industrialists, manufacturers, who constituted the shippers to reduce the overall costs of doing business in Nigerian ports.

He also urged the Federal Ministry of Finance to provide leadership in managing the problems of the Nigerian shipping community.

The shippers boss said that government should think about the huge investments in building deep sea ports as well as maritime prospects in the next 20 years to attract more cargo.

Nicol also suggested that adequate plans must be made by government to secure and promote the local industries, the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian shippers.

He noted that it was the duty of government to encourage private entrepreneurs toward sustainable contribution to developing the Nigerian economy.

“When you add the costs of generating power in a factory with salaries, these costs cannot be by-passed whether you like it or not.

“You must provide power for your factory and you must pay staff salaries,” he said.

Nicol said that the bottlenecks at the ports was largely the reason behind government’s appointment of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the economic regulator.

He, however, said the Shippers’ Council was aware of some “brick wall” it would meet in its new task.

Nicol said that shippers were now more committed to supporting government’s revenue generation goal in the maritime industry.

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