Operators lament poor infrastructure at Eastern ports

Infrastructure deficit, insecurity and poor operational policy have continued to hunt the 'Ease of doing business' in Nigerian sea ports, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said.

Mr Farinto Collins, Acting President of the association made this known 

Speaking on Tuesday in Port Harcourt at a stakeholders interactive session/awards night, Acting President of the association, Mr. Kayode Farinto Collins, noted that all the above hinder smooth port operation.

The event, organized by the Business and Maritime Writers Association of Nigeria (BUMWAN) in collaboration with ANLCA, provided opportunity for stakeholders to identify and proffer solutions to challenges affecting operators at the Eastern Ports.

The ANLCA boss however, expressed dissatisfaction as he alleged multiple taxation, insecurity, infrastructure decay and even extortion by some ports officials, a practice which he described as 'business terrorism'.

Farinto stated that the menace was responsible for about 85 per cent business down-turn currently being faced by shipping agents and vessel owners at the Eastern ports.

Similarly, Mr Naved Zafar, The Managing Director, West African Container Terminal (WACT), Mr. Naved Zafar, noted that several challenges ranging from infrastructure decay to attitude of regulatory agencies is threatening the ports concessioning agreement.

 Represented by WACT's Commercial Manager, Mr. Chika Umeh, the Managing Director said several months after the ports concessioning, the company is yet grabbing to replace obstinate infrastructure at the Port Harcourt terminal.

In his own speech, Mr Mike Ebeatu, Chairman, ANLCA, Onne Seaport chapter lamented poor state of the Eleme/Onne area of the East-West road and urged the federal government to ensure speedy response to the state of the road.

He said that lack of uniformity on Customs duties as well as continued neglect of the Eleme-Onne road was a clear indication of a poor business plan for the Eastern ports.

Earlier, Mr  Peter Ihejirika, National President of BUMWAN said the essence of  the interaction was to further strengthen the maritime sector ahead of the 2022 annual year's anniversary while also commending  ANLCA and other stakeholders for the synergy.

Highlights of the event was awards/ commendation certificates  presented by BUMWAN to Farinto, Ebeatu, Comptroller Auwal Muhammad, WACT, amongst others.

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