NPA’s 2017 cargo traffic projection indicates ports are bleeding —STOAN

Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria (STOAN) has said that the 69,520,109 tons of cargo traffic projected by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) during the agency’s budget defence clearly shows that the nations ports are haemorrhaging.

Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune via email correspondence, STOAN Spokesman, Bolaji Akinola stated that the ports have witnessed the slumps since 2015.

According to him, “NPA’s traffic projection of 69, 520, 109 cargo throughput for 2017 clearly shows that the ports are seriously haemorrhaging as we have noted since 2015. This is as a result of ill-advised, ill-timed and poorly implemented government policies such as the increase in the import duty of vehicles by three and a half time; the rice policy; fish quota system and the CBN ban of 41 items from the official foreign exchange window.

“All of these, plus the present national economic imbroglio, have combined to rob our ports of   about 60 per cent of their cargo volumes over the past two years.

“The implication of the current state of affairs is low cargo volume which means loss of huge incomes by terminal operators, Customs and the Nigerian Ports Authority. Clearing agents, shipping companies, importers, truckers and other service providers at the port are also negatively affect by the situation. Poor revenue performance means less jobs at the port and we saw that play out in 2015 and 2016 when many port workers were rendered redundant.”

The NPA, during its budget presentation at the National Assembly had said that the agency is targeting a cargo throughput of 69,520,109 tons at the nation’s seaports. This represents a 17.3 per cent decrease compared to the agency’s 2016 projection which stood at 84,113,210 tons. This is even as the agency has earmarked N233,791,484,418 as expenditure for the 2017 budget.