A group of freight forwarders known as Patriots Anti-Corruption Initiative, T-PACI, has indicated that current pressures on foreign exchange supply and the consequent sharp depreciation of the Naira will soon crash the volume of Nigeria’s imports.
National President of T-PACI, Stephen Chigozie, who disclosed this at a news conference in Lagos, explained that situation will force a lot of importers off international trade.
He urged the Federal Government through the port regulator, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), to look into the matter.
The T-PACI boss noted that the increase in storage charges will further drive up the cost of imported goods, driving the cost of such goods beyond the reach of Nigerians.
He emphasised that any attempt by terminal operators to further increase storage charges should not be tolerated.
He noted that Nigerians should rely on the law and due process to ensure that corruption is not enabled within the port.
“We are strongly against the sudden surge in increase of storage charges in the port and we describe this act as fraudulent and a corrupt practice being perpetuated by the terminal operators.
“T-PACI is not saying that port concession Aries should not increase the port charges, but before such increment is effected, due consultation with relevant stakeholders should be done.
“The issue of storage/rent charges should be a no go area. We all know that when the Nigerian Ports Authority was in charge, the final period of storage charge was not up to N1,500.
“However, since the commencement of the current ports concessionaires took over, they have effected incessant increase in port charges almost every day till the point we have now,” he said.
Also speaking, Humphrey Okwuosa, the National Public Relations Officer of the organisation, pointed out that some of the duties paid at the port contravene the rules set by the World Customs Organisation and the World Trade Organisation.
He stressed the need for adherence to transaction value and highlighted that current practices could lead to inflation in the country.