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Freight forwarders, customs agents bemoan non-inclusion in FG’s intervention funds

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Freight forwarders, customs agents and supply chain practitioners in the maritime industry have lamented their non-inclusion in Federal Government’s economic intervention funds through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Industry (BoI) to sustain private sector businesses.

They noted that besides government’s failure to capture them in palliatives, there was no offer of single-digit loan tailored towards their needs in procuring trucks, maintaining warehouses, investing in logistics aided technology like tracking devises and motorcycles for E-commerce transactions to cushion the effect of traffic situation in Lagos.

National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Iju Anthony Nwabunike, made the assertion, while delivering his independence day message to freight forwarders, customs brokers and supply chain practitioners.

He urged the ministries of Finance, Transport, Trade and Industry, CBN, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and others to see them as professionals, who deserve some support and not just tax payers, noting that the likely collapse of the sector would adversely affect the country.

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“No intervention programme has been designed for us in the freight forwarding and logistics sector. Our roles in the import, export and supply chain management has made us critical contributors to government revenue drive of attaining over N4tr by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and supporting the NCS in sustaining its N1tr yearly collections,” he stated.

Nwabunike further charged the stakeholders to reflect on the untapped potentials in the country as professionals and businessmen to enable them to contribute to Nigeria’s economic diversification drive and make the country Africa’s largest economy through divestment from an oil-dependent country to a more viable nation.

He said the country’s 60th Independence anniversary celebration should spur Nigerians to more positive action for the greater good of all compatriots.

“Our professional calling as logistics experts playing critical roles in E-commerce now requires us to think beyond clearing cargoes from the ports and be the chain linking people and businesses together,” he stated.

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