The President Shippers Association of Lagos, Jonathan Nicole, has said Nigeria loses over N800 billion monthly due to lack of 24-hour seaport operation – about N9.6 trillion lost in a year.
According to Nicole, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) generated almost N26 billion daily in the past from seaports but, “the figure has dropped because our imports have reduced.The port is money-spinning. Payments are daily made to shipping companies, terminal operators, customs, transporters, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the ports.
“If one is bringing out 1,000 containers, add the customs duty, shipping and terminal charges, transportation and even under-the-table transactions, then you will understand the amount involved. We need to put in place policies that are workable and cannot be thwarted,” he said.
He also alleged that some unpatriotic elements thwarted laws and policies because they wanted to make money, adding that the refusal of some government agencies to key into the 24-hour port operation directive, describing it as unfortunate.
In May 2017, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had signed an executive order directing resumption of 24-hour operations at the Apapa Port as well as prohibiting touts on the seaport.
However, the 24-hour operations have yet to commence in the seaports while the agencies sacked from operating at the seaports have returned to participate in physical examination of cargoes.
Also, the managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, recently accused some Federal Government agencies at the ports of lack of compliance with the directive and executive order.
A breakdown of the revenue showed that in 2016, the authority’s revenue hit N182.42 billion against the N173.447 billion generated in 2015.
However, there was a revenue surge in 2017 when the authority generated a total of N259.99 billion, marking about 42 per cent increase compared to 2016.
In 2018, the revenue generation hit N282.42 billion while 2019 peaked at around N300 billion, making it the highest in the authority’s history.