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Business News of Monday, 10 January 2022

Source: www.sunnewsonline.com

Shippers seek favourable trade policies in 2022

Nigerian Shippers Council Nigerian Shippers Council

Importers under the aegis of Shippers Association of Lagos (SAL), are advocating more conducive trade environment in 2022, even as they lamented the 82 percent of export cargo rejected by European Union (EU) last year.

In a statement made available to Daily Sun, President of SAL Rev. Jonathan Nicole, attributed the quest for a conducive trade environment to the lingering effects of agitations, lawlessness and other negative consequences experienced in 2021. 

He called on the port economic regulator to be pro-active in curtailing and eliminating the root causes of maritime backwardness, adding that the restrictions on the foreign exchange would be counterproductive as a lot of industries would be grossly affected by the policy. 

According to him, import trade will suffer due to foreign exchange restrictions, noting that importers could hardly pay freight charges, as the approved window has only  $5,000 limit for 30 days. 

“Freight above $5,000 will be held up until freight charges have been fully prepaid upfront. Goods will attract storage charges abroad for as long as the freight is pending and this type of restriction is counterproductive. 

“However, it is encouraging that President Buhari promised to provide foreign exchange for industries and manufactures in 2022 because of the importance of local production of essential materials and for exports,” he said. 

Nicole noted that the other major challenge was that 82 percent of the country's agro-allied products are either seized or rejected by EU countries, reasons being that they are illegally exported without certification of government agencies. 

“82 percent of export cargo is enormous. With this in view, it might grossly affect our farmers directly or indirectly without export proceeds from the receivers abroad,” he said. 

Nicole said that to have a good trading environment, shippers expect the Nigeria Customs Service amendment of CEMA to meet with the current realities in the World Trade Agreements, with no more threats to importers.