Enterprise Television- Nigeria May Lose N500 Billion Yearly to New Cargo Policy
The Federal Government’s new policy on cargo palletisation could rob the economy of over N500 billion yearly and send importers to the ports of neighbouring countries. Palletisation is a method of storing and transporting goods stacked on a pallet and shipped as a unit load. It permits standardised ways of handling loads with equipment like forklift trucks.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had said the new import-export policy, which began on January 1, would aid manual examination of consignment, “while the country awaits the acquisition and installation of functional scanners at the seaports and land borders.”Importers and other stakeholders, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the move, saying it would result in higher costs.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Air Sea Freighters Limited, Sir Enoch Iwueze, also flayed the policy, saying it would drag the nation’s economy backward.
Also speaking, The President, Shippers Association in Lagos State (SALS), Jonathan Nicol, urged the Federal Government to suspend the policy, saying: “If government continues with it, shippers will suffer. And the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports will be high.”He expressed concern that the government could lose cargoes to the ports of neighbouring countries, noting that some shippers have already left Nigeria as a result of the directive.
The policy, meanwhile, has reduced documentation requirements from 10 to seven for exports, and from 14 to eight for imports. While stakeholders welcomed this, the issue of palletisation has remained thorny.