Home Business How Nigeria lost 10million metric tonnes of transit cargoes to other counties

How Nigeria lost 10million metric tonnes of transit cargoes to other counties

by Business News Report

AS Nigeria makes move to reclaim over 10million metric tonnes of lost transit cargoes, that factors that initially led the loss of this category of the country’s trade to neighbouring countries are still very much present in the Nigerian ports.
The 10million metric tonnes of transit cargoes are from Niger alone have been distributed amongst five neighbouring countries namely Ghana, Togo, Republic of Benin, and Ivory Coast.
The issue of port has also been given as the major factor militating against the the return of these cargoes to Nigerian ports.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, the country representative of the Niger Council of Public Transport Users, NCPTU, Alhaji, Idi Homissou told Vanguard that high duty rate and other associated port cost actually drove Nigerien importers to port of neighbouring countries.
Homissou said that while 4.3million metric tonnes of the 10million metric tonnes of transit cargo has been taken to Togo, Nigerien importers have also moved 2.5mliion metric tonnes of their transit cargo to Togo.

For Ghana and Ivory Coast,1.8million metric tonnes and 400,000 metric tonnes were taken over them respectively, while Nigeria is left with a paltry 200,000metric tonnes of transit cargoes from Niger.
“The issue of port cost is the major challenge importers from Niger are facing in Nigeria,even though we see some level of efficiency, the high duty rate is still an issue that must be looked into.” he added
He explained that Nigeria and Niger used to be a single country until the Europeans came and separated it and carved Niger out of Nigeria.
The Nigerien representative in Nigeria said that Nigerian ports are much more nearer to Jibiya (a border town between both countries) than Togo or Ghana.
He further said that from Ghana to Niger, it is about 3,400 kilometer as against 1,300kilometers from Lagos to Jibiya in Niger.
He disclosed that transit cargo from Niger was lost to other countries long before the ports were concessioned adding that the seeming efficient services currently being experienced at the port is what is attracting importers from Niger.
Homissou also said that the issue of safe passage of their goods has been a source of concern until the leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service assured them of safe passage of transit cargoes.
“Naturally, Nigeria is the nearest country to Niger, and it makes sense for us to move our cargoes through Nigeria but if the Customs duty is as high as it is now then we may have to look else where for us to transit our cargoes.
Even what we pay to Nigerian Customs officials to escort our goods to the border is very exorbitant when compared to what other countries collect from us.
“While other countries collect payment per convoy, in Nigeria, we pay per container” he said
He also disclosed that there have been situation where the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has to come to the rescue of the a vessel that almost got stranded with Nigerien transit cargoes on board.
He commended the effort of the management of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for trying to woo Nigerien importers back from Nigeria
Homissou also told Vanguard that the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has visited importers in Niger and assured them of quick passage of their cargo through the Nigerian port system.

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