The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the takeover of scanning operations at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa by Global Scan Systems Limited (GSSL) is not in the best interest of its members operating at the port.
The LCCI Director-General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, in an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office, said that the chamber is disturbed by its port sector members’ complaints about the challenges that the new regime of destination inspection service provider at LPC pose to their businesses.
“Our members are complaining of the very serious congestion that has resulted from the change in the inspection agents at the port. Clearly, the new company that has taken over does not have the capacity that the previous company has, that is now comparing Cotecna with Global Scan, and this is taking quite a very serious toll on businesses. People are complaining about demurrage which they have to pay and this has implications for cost. They are complaining about speed of delivery to factories – raw materials and things that have been stuck in the port. They are complaining also about the cost of fund because most of these cargos are brought in through borrowed funds and the longer they stay at the port the more interest you have to pay to the bank. So, from all angles it is really a very unfortunate situation,” Yusuf said.
The LCCI Director General expressed disappointment in the Minister of Finance for favoring the move for Global Scan to take over from Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited despite the resulting odds against port reforms.
“It came to us as a surprise that Finance Minister who we see as a champion of the reform of the port has issued the directive that Global Scan should take over from Cotecna. We don’t have anything against any organization but for a strategic port such as the Apapa Port what should be paramount is the capacity to deliver in the choice of any agent that take the role of inspection agents or even any role for that matter in that port. The port is too strategic for any government or any person to be using as a platform for patronage because the implication for the economy is quite enormous” he stated.