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Nigerian Shippers Decry Rising Cargo Clearance Costs 

 

Nigerian shippers are expressing concern over the escalating expenses tied to cargo clearance, citing both the volatile exchange rates and soaring operational costs. This surge in costs has led to a buildup of inventory among manufacturers, exacerbating economic challenges.

 

During the inaugural press briefing of the National Shippers Association of Nigeria in Lagos, industry stakeholders, including exporters, importers, and manufacturers, voiced their grievances. The President-General of NSAN, Innocent Akuvue, underscored the prolonged exchange rate turmoil and its adverse impact on association members and manufacturers alike.

 

Akuvue highlighted the detrimental effects of inconsistent government policies, emphasizing the lack of stakeholder consultation in their formulation. He also pointed out the intricate and inconsistent nature of the clearance process, compounded by escalating business costs and infrastructure deficiencies, particularly in transportation from ports.

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Ijeoma Ezeasor, Secretary-General of NSAN and a Director at Cutix Plc, echoed these concerns, noting the strain on manufacturers as warehouses overflow with unsold goods. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic further complicates the situation, with delayed shipments now facing the challenge of clearance at revised rates.

 

Jonathan Nicol, a prominent figure within the association, lamented the apparent failure of initiatives like the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to alleviate these burdens. Established in July 2016 by former President Muhammad Buhari, PEBEC aimed to streamline business operations in Nigeria. However, industry leaders argue that bureaucratic hurdles persist, hindering efforts to foster a conducive business environment.

 

As Nigerian shippers grapple with mounting challenges, the need for comprehensive reforms to streamline clearance processes and stabilize exchange rates becomes increasingly urgent.

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