Home Economy LCCI decries slow pace of clearing goods at seaports

LCCI decries slow pace of clearing goods at seaports

by Business News Report

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the slow pace of clearing goods at the nation’s seaports was militating against maritime trade. Mr Goodie Ibru, the President of LCCI, who made the remark at a press conference in Lagos, described the entire process of clearing goods as still very slow. Ibru suggested that the server at the customs processing unit should be upgraded to reverse the unwarranted delay in releasing cargo.
According to him, similar delays occur at the unit where containers are inspected, as well as the main gate to the seaports. “There are reports of undue delays by the terminal operators. Dropping of containers for physical examination, transfer and scanning are characterised by long delays. This is a common feature of most of the terminal operators in the Lagos ports. Regrettably, importers are penalised through the imposition of demurrage for these delays,” he said.

The LCCI president also urged the Federal Government to look into the customs’ valuation on every cargo, noting that it had added to the high cost of doing business in the country. “The customs would raise a query even where there is no concrete basis to do so; in many instances, such queries end up as extortion tactics. We want to appeal to the customs’ high command to urgently put a stop to this practice,’’ Ibru said.

He alleged thatsome shipping companies deliberately issued debit notes on containers late and high demurrage for delays. Ibru also spoke on the current security situation in the country, noting that it had begun to scare investors away thereby leaving many companies on the verge of collapse. He noted that many small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) were now fleeing the northern part of the country, with the hospitality industry not faring any better. According to him, the operators of the SMEs have lost more than 30 per cent of their sales because of the lack of access to most markets in the northern part of the country. “ Manufacturing firms sourcing raw materials from the north are now facing serious challenges; projects funded by banks in the affected states are now at risk,” Ibru said.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment