By Lawrence Etim.
The Chairman of STOAN, Princess Vicky Hastrrup, said in Lagos that besides the high cost of running terminals, importers and other port users pay much more than what is obtainable in other ports due to lack of certain infrastructures like light and good roads.
Apart from the issue of double taxation, storage and cargo handling charges, various government agencies collect all kinds of levies from both importers that are not collected in other countries. Hastrupp maintained that inflation however has also taken its toll on the cost of cargo clearance.
For example, while the duty on rice in Nigeria is put at 110 percent, it is seven percent in Benin Republic and Zero percent in Cameroon. It is worth noting that this high import cost has not only encouraged smuggling, also the government is losing billions of Naira in revenue to other countries.
Hastrrup said that terminal operators have added value to the Nigerian port system as the ports are more efficient than they were eight years ago. Be that as it may, access to the ports is still the greatest challenge right now because it is quite becoming an enormous and frustrating task for those that are coming to load or take delivery of their cargoes.
At times discharging of cargoes becomes so difficult since trucks cannot even have smooth access to the terminals. Therefore, it is actually much more expensive to run terminals in Nigeria than in other countries of the world.