According to The Shippers Association of Lagos, 82 per cent of Nigeria’s exported Agro-allied products are either seized or rejected in Europe.
A signed statement by SALS President, Rev Jonathan Nicole, said the reason was lack of conducive trade environment; including the lingering effects of agitations, lawlessness and other negative consequences experienced in 2021.
He called on the port economic regulator to be more proactive in curtailing and eliminating the root causes of maritime backwardness. Nicole noted that the restrictions on foreign exchange would be counterproductive as a lot of industries would be grossly affected by the policy.
According to Nicole, import trade will suffer due to foreign exchange restrictions. He noted that importers could hardly pay freight charges as the approved window was $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.
“82 per cent 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. “The Gulf of Guinea has to be protected from invading pirates. Nigeria waters should be safe enough for ourselves as stakeholders in Nigeria,” he added.