Sifax Group has said that it recorded significant decline across its various business units in the first half of the year.
Managing Director of Sifax Group, John Jenkins, lamented that the activities of companies in the group in the first half of the year were adversely affected by the economic policies of the Federal Government, particularly the challenge of sourcing foreign exchange by importers.
Speaking at the mid-year press conference of the group in Lagos yesterday, Jenkins said that Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited, which is one of the subsidiaries of the group, recorded 10% drop in container throughput and 50% drop in the volume of general cargo cargoes handled at the facility when compared with the numbers of 2015.
Port & Cargo is the operator of Terminal C at the Tin Can Island Port Complex, Lagos.
Jenkins said Sifax Haulage and Logistics Limited recorded approximately 20% decline in volume in the first half of the year, despite signing new business deals with some new clients.
He however noted that Sifax Offdock, its inland container depot subsidiary with three terminals in Okota, Trinity and Ijora, Lagos, recorded 54.11% increase for received containers while deliveries improved by 50.23%.
John attributed the decline in activities to the challenges of sourcing foreign exchange being experienced by importers, bad port access roads and poor electricity supply.
He said, “Electricity is a challenge; we solely rely on diesel to power all our heavy equipment and generators for 24 hours operations. This has greatly increased the cost of doing business and drastically reduced our profit margin.
“The access roads to the ports are in a deplorable state and this has created a source of worry to stakeholders in the industry.”
Also speaking at the briefing, Managing Director of Ports & Cargo, Mallam Muhammed Bulangu assured that despite the decrease in profit, the terminal remains committed to rendering quality services to its customers.
He said, “As the flagship of the group, if we sneeze, the other subsidiaries will catch cold. We don’t have issues with our clients or any complains.
“The throughput and revenue has dropped, we are not doing optimally, but what we are doing is trying to ensure that we render the best services possible to our clients by reducing the turnaround time of vessels and ensuring that we encourage customers to clear their cargoes when they arrive without delay.”
Bulangu appealed to the Federal Government to fix the Tin Can Island Port access road. He noted that the road was built 40 years ago and government has since refused to carry out any maintenance work on it.
He said Ports & Cargo has spent a lot of money to apply palliatives on make the road motorable.
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