By Godwin Oritse
TRANSPORTATION Minister,Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday confirmed the diversion of Nigerian bound cargoes to ports of neighbouring countries by Nigerian importers.
Speaking at an Advocacy Roundtable organized by the Nigeria British Chamber of Commerce, (NBCC), Amaechi said that Nigerian importers have resorted to the use of ports of neighbouring countries to the detriment of the nation’s seaports. He said that the government of these West African countries are abolishing taxes to attract more Nigerian importers. He disclosed that continued patronage of their ports by Nigerians could be attributed to the reason the Government of Nigeria is not making money from the nation’s ports.
He explained that the government was making plans to make the ports more attractive so as to re-divert the lost cargo through-put back to Nigeria.
Amechi also noted that the ports of neighbouring countries are better located than that of Nigeria adding that location of nation’s ports has put it at disadvantage. In a related development, the transportation minister also disclosed that the Government will query the concession extension granted some terminal operators. He advised that the port reform auditors be allowed to do their jobs adding that the concession extension will certainly be looked into.
Similarly, a former General Manager in charge of Security at the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Major Henry Ajetunmobi, has said that Ocean ports are the new trends in port location.
He explained that ports in Nigeria are considered to be river ports and most times the rivers need to be dredged with routine maintained adding that these also adds to cost.
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