By DAPO OLAWUNI
Chairman of Education and Training Committee of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Dr. Kayode Farinto has called on the Federal Government to entend its provision of stimulus packages under the implementation of the “Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan” to the maritime sector.
DAILY TREND NEWS recalls that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the immediate implementation of the N2.3 trillion Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP). The programme is one of the recommendations of the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. It is to support the economy in the face of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Monday, Dr Farinto who is also the Vice President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) argued that with the recent drop in crude oil prices, the maritime sector is next sector that can generate revenue and should be the focus of the federal government.
He canvassed that Nigerian indigenous shipowners should be given part of the money to recue their dying businesses.
Farinto also said that the freight forwarders through the CRFFN could be given at least N50billion to clear some of the abandoned cargoes at the port. He stressed that due to COVID-19, a lot of importers have been redundant could not get money to do business.
He lamented that COVID-19 has cut down Nigeria level of importation to about 40% and that most of the importation done now is mainly on essential cargoes.
Farinto noted that some of the companies in China are no longer opening, the commodities are not available, hence the redundancy in the level of importation.
“If their is no stimulus package, it is believed that the economy of Nigeria would drop further, the stimulus would be a moral booster so that we don’t go into recession”
“I want to appeal to the Federation Government in view of the fact that the oil is now dropping, the only place Federal Government can make money is from the maritime sector, therefore, the so called stimulus package should be extended to the maritime industry”
“I am of the opinion that the issue of indigenous shipowners should be looked at, the CVFF is still in the escrow account, it has not been disbursed, and the indigenous shipowners are going into extinction”
“So also, the freight forwarders can get from this Economic stimulus package, because COVID-19 has affected a lot of things negatively, the level of our importation has dropped by 45%, most of the importation now is mainly on essential cargoes. So things would happen in the next few months, and it would negatively affect our economy”
“We have some importers who have been redundant in the last three months, they cannot import anything, they would like to diversify but they need to be motivated”
“Government can decide to give fifty billion Naira to be accessed by anyone with genuine business at 10% interest, just like they are doing at Bank of Industry, this would encourage people.
Looking at indigenous shipowners, 99% of vessels on our waters are foreign vessels, this what makes us to lose billions of Naira”
“If the government decides to look at the maritime sector, the CRFFN can be given money, so that people who have cargoes to clear, the importers that are financially handicapped, can approach CRFFN and they would be given such loans without interest”
“A lot of people have consignments at the port, but they abandoned it because they dont have money to clear it, they should catch from these largese”
“If the CRFFN should be given N50billion, we can look at it, set a committee to investigate, the importer is given the money at no interest, sell his goods” Farinto stated.