Shippers Association urges government to review Import Policies

David Adekunle, Lagos

The President, Shippers Association Lagos State, Mr Jonathan Nicol on Tuesday urged the Nigerian Government to review import policies, especially the forex restriction on 41 items.

Nicol made the plea in an interview with journalists in Lagos.

He said that the forex restriction policy had rendered activities low at the ports and impacted negatively on importers, freight forwarders and other stakeholders.

Nicol said that removing the forex restriction would enable many industries to produce at least 80% installed capacity and revamp the local industries.

The shipper suggested that the auto policy should be simplified to improve port activities, otherwise the Port and Terminal Multi services Ltd. (PTML) renowned for vehicle imports, would shut down

“If this happens, Nigeria will be losing over N800 million yearly from this source,” Nicol said.

He urged the Nigeria Customs Service to urgently restructure the PTML Valuation Department, saying that some officers had overstayed in the terminal.

The shipper suggested that government should build holding bays outside the ports for commodity exports, where examination and sampling of export items could be conducted before moving them into the ports.

He said that the Tin-Can Island port was built for that purpose.

According to him, conducting examination of export cargoes in the ports will induce congestion and corruption.

The shipper, however, said that shippers were not happy that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) placed all imported items on Conformity Standard requirements.

“Form ‘M’ cannot be raised without a SON certificate,” Nicol said.

He also decried the bottleneck experienced by importers paying levies on pallets to Plant Quarantine Service.

Confidence O.