The Nigerian economy is currently losing about N600 billion in customs revenue, estimated $10 billion (N3.06 trillion at N306.35/$1) on non-oil export and about N2.5 trillion corporate earnings across the sectors on a yearly basis, latest data from a joint research by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and other members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) has shown.
Specifically, the LCCI explained that the data showed a worrisome level of deliberate resistance by some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to implement enabling regulations including the 2017 Presidential Executive Orders relating to the ports.
The chamber added that fights for supremacy, conflict of interests among the MDAs and revenue ambitions that conflict with trade facilitation objectives among the MDAs are common issues.
Besides, the LCCI added that about 10% of cargoes are cleared within the set timeline of 48 hours while majority of the cargoes take between 5 to 14 days to clear, as a result of deliberate delays induced by MDAs’ officials.
According to the study undertaken by LCCI, in collaboration with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and OPS made up of MAN, NECA, NACCIMA, NASME, NASSI, and Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the chamber noted that the port reforms undertaken by the Federal Government are being frustrated by businesses and government agencies thriving from the inefficiency of the ports.
These developments, in the views of the chamber, have very huge adverse implication for job creation, tax revenue and real economic activities with estimated downside effect of about 3% on the country’s GDP.
Unveiling the report in Lagos, yesterday, LCCI President, Babatunde Ruwase decried the state of activities at the ports, saying that operators and users of the ports are increasingly faced with bureaucratic red tape, limited access to the ports due to traffic congestion, constant delays, illegal charges, technical and security breakdown, leading to high costs of operations and competitiveness.
“The present administration over the last two years has focused on repositioning the ports through the National Action plans on cross border trading coordinated by Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council (PEBEC) and series of Presidential Executive Orders targeted at ports efficiency.
The past and ongoing reform efforts notwithstanding, the Nigerian port continues to lag behind its peers in Africa and other parts of the world.
“Feedback from stakeholders confirms that bad port access roads accounts for 90% of accidents that cause damage to fragile imported items leading to significant losses.
In addition, there are painful reports of loss/damage of perishable agricultural export due to extended time spent by the trucks before getting to the ports or the poor condition of warehouses at the ports”, he added.
On his part, the Co-ordinator, Transport and Logistics Group, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, Dr. Ikenna Nwosu stated that the financial impact of Apapa chaos can be likened to government losing huge income, yet sharing little from proceeds of oil.
He expressed worries that the congestion presently witnessed may worsen in Q4 2018, as imports are expected to rise thus extending the present long transaction cycle.
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