The Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has flayed the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for the congestion of the nation’s ports.
Dangote slammed maritime sector stakeholders in his remarks at the third ‘Race to US$200bn In FX Repatriation’ Non-Oil Export Summit of the Central Bank of Nigeria held in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said, “There are two issues; one is the terminal operators and the second is Customs. For terminal operators, what they have created in most of their space in the ports is just a container-stacking lot, so that they can be making money, because it is not in their interest for you to clear your goods on time, they want to charge you demurrage.
“The gentlemen from the Shippers Council, you know that there are quite of lot complaints from people. You know roads are built which are supposed to lead to flawless traffic but there is still congestion. Why? Because they have turned all the space where they are supposed to allow some trucks to go in, park and load, into a stacking lot, which shouldn’t be.”
According to Africa’s richest man, shippers’ council and terminal operators have to change their ways to aid the export industry in the country.
“The terminal operators have to also change what they are doing now with the help of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council. The problem we have in that area is that we don’t have a very strong regulator. Shippers council, I think you need to rise and NPA (too). We are also a terminal operator, so I know what they are doing.
“What they need to do is make sure that you can clear your goods, like any other country, within 48 hours maximum. Sometimes, by the time you pay terminal charges and demurrage, there is no way you can become competitive when you export. There is a policy by the government that when you export, whatever you export, there are no charges,” he said.