Nigerian exporters have called on the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC to take a critical look at the charges they are subjected to pay at the seaport terminals in a bid to export their products out of the country with a view to harmonizing them.
The exporters in a chat with Primetime Reporters in Lagos on Monday lamented a development where they were asked to pay terminal charges at the Lillypond Export Terminal and on getting to Apapa port, they would be asked to pay another terminal charges for their goods to set sail.
Confirming the development, the Chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Mr. Olufemi Abiodun Olabanji, who incidentally is also an exporter explained that Lillypond is now a command of its own as it now generate Form C30 adding that any export that is going out of Nigeria has to come through Lillypond Command.
Mr. Olabanji however, wondered why the terminal charges which they pay at the Lillypond terminal could not cover for their export only for them to be subjected to another around of terminal charges at Apapa which in most cases totalling over two hundred thousand naira (N200,000).
His words, “I can’t understand what is happening now at Lillypond. Lillypond is a command, we pay terminal charges at Lillypond, we pay for call up before we can bring goods to Lillypond and we are still going to pay terminal charges in Apapa. How can we be paying two terminal charges for one export?
“I want to appeal to Lillypond terminal and Apapa to look into this properly. If they can harmonize the charges and synergize such that we don’t pay double terminal charges because if you don’t get good to go, you cannot get your containers into Apapa and if you don’t pay your terminal charges, there is no how you will get good to go.
“We are not saying that what they are doing is not good but they should harmonize the charges in order to lessen the burden on the exporters and then, encourage export in order for the country to earn foreign exchange.
“If we are spending so much money before we can get our consignment into the seaport, then where is the incentive? Export is different from import. Sometimes, what is inside a full container is around one million, five hundred thousand or one million, three hundred thousand for export. By the time you start paying all these huge money on terminal and still pay freight, where is the profit? And then, government is encouraging Nigerians to export goods so we can get dollar into the country.
“The terminal operator at Lillypond should look into this because this two terminal charges amount to over two hundred thousand naira for just export alone.
“I am calling on NPA and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to also look into this development. Sometimes,we weigh our goods at Lillypond and still weigh the same goods at Apapa and in all these, we are meant to cough huge sums of money.”
Photo: Mr. Olufemi Abiodun Olabanji, Chairman, ANLCA, Tincan 2 Lillypond chapter.
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