The Shippers Association Lagos State (SALS) has raised concerns that Nigerian ports would continue to suffer, just as the manufacturing industries have suffered, if the Federal Government decides to place ban on importation of certain goods items.
The latest import restriction came last week when the Federal Government directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop issuance of foreign exchange for food importation, so as to increase local production of food in the country.
Earlier, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had also announced plans to put forex restriction on dairy products during the last Monetary Policy (MPC) meeting held on July 23 in Abuja.
In an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND NEWS, President of the Shippers Association, Rev Jonathan Nicole who raised the concerns noted that already, the 41 items banned from accessing foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria has caused most industries to fold up.
According to him, the policy has had a ripple effect on most Nigerian Shippers, the port system has suffered tremendously and poor Nigerians have also suffered effect of these policies.
Speaking, the Shippers boss said
“If the government now places ban on some of the items that Industries need to produce, because most of the 42 items already on ban has to do with Industries, so if the government wants to place more items on ban, it means that the industries will suffer”
“In fact, some of them are already packing up their load because they cannot even sell their goods”
“I know one or two who found it difficult to import this year, their workforce is about 500 Nigerians, they work three shifts before, now they hardly do two shifts because they are reducing, and even then, reduction of overhead cost, the regular machineries they have to service, they have to buy diesel to fuel their generators and vehicles and other sundry expenses”
“With all these, the manufacturers cannot cope because there is no income, check through their warehouses, they are sealed up because they cannot sell their goods because their is no money in the country for citizens to buy goods”
“So, how many of the factories will survive if the government places ban on some more items? It means that our port system will be empty” he said
Rev Nicol noted that most of the importers from the informal sector are still surviving because they source their foreign exchange by themselves because most of them are not valid for foreign exchange
He said most of them enjoy the ninety days payment schedule from the manufacturer who gives out the goods and collect money after ninety days.