Freight forwarders task FG on Lagos ports’ access roads
THE International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA) has urged the Federal Government to develop the political will to fix bad portions of the ports’ access roads in Lagos.
IFFA explained on Monday that the state of roads that lead to both the ports of Tin Can Island and Lagos port complex, Apapa, and the international airport in Lagos sends very negative signal of “insensitivity of the Government to gateways to the country”.
President of IFFA, Dr. Sam C. Onyemelukwe, said: “We call on the Federal Government to see this as an emergency, free the corridors and give these strategic roads facelift for smooth transportation of goods and services”.
He said apart from the gridlocks, “Attendant man-hour losses, wears and tears, many businesses on these corridors have been frustrated. Furthermore, it is scary to imagine how the country can respond in the kind of congestion seen on these corridors in the event of emergency, especially with the numerous tank farms scattered around the areas”.
On the state of the naira, IFFA implore the Federal Government to urgently introduce functional fiscal regimes that will arrest this recession.
He said: “IFFA believes that directing energy to build local content and economic activities will sure up the value of the Naira.
“The establishment of a national liner of ocean going vessels is also imperative to boost Nigeria’s maritime capacity, reduce capital flight, create employment and freight huge cargo generated to and from Nigeria.
“In doing these, the Naira will be strengthened. The focus on, and the extent to which foreign currencies have been given prominence even in local transactions in Nigeria are both alarming and red signs to Nigeria’s economy”.
He commended the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for what it achieved in the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) policy, adding that “as it was a right step towards achieving faster clearance.”
Onyemelukwe said: “Through the destination inspection scheme, NCS was also able to reduce capital flight by retaining the 1% FOB comprehensive import supervision scheme hitherto paid to foreign agents.
“However, IFFA urges the Federal Government to pay this 1% to freight forwarders as incentive. It is our belief that it will make the freight forwarder an accommodated partner with the NCS in the patriotic function of duty collection; this will stimulate correct declarations by shippers, reduce revenue leakages, as well as make cargo clearance and delivery faster”.