LCCI SEEKS INVESTMENT-FRIENDLY POLICIES, PROCESSES AT NIGERIA’S SEAPORTS
Oganised private sector operators under the aegis of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI have urged the Federal to enthrone a regime of imvestment-friendly polices and processes at the nation’s seaports. This with a to attracting the much needed private investments that would engender the growth and development and grow the industry.
President of the chamber, Dr. Nike Akande, who spoke at a stakeholders’ appreciation night organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council in Lagos, said there was an urgent need for the Federal Government to create an enabling environment that would promote investment in the maritime industry.
According to her, the current state of infrastructure and service delivery at the ports does not promote investment since the ports are not competitive with their peers within West and Central African sub region.
She cited the instance of the dilapidated state of the ports’ accesss roads in Lagos, which she argued does not promote efficiency and effectiveness in port operation as it impedes the free flow of cargo in and out of the seaports.
Another problem she listed as inhibiting the massive inflow of investments both local and foreign was the issue of imposition of multiplicity of taxes, levies and fees on port service users with the attendant hih cost of operation, which does not make for competitiveness.
It was in response to these challenges, that the LCCI recently held a brainstorming session in which representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transport, those of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Shippers Council and other stakeholders.
It was however gathered that decisions reached at the brainstorming session, which proferred solutions to the myraids of problems and challenges have since been sent to the office of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi for necessary actions.
The LCCI-boss, who was also chairman of the event however charged stakeholders to adopt transparency and international best practice in their documentations and transactions.
She also made a strong case for collaboration and cooperation among the varous stakeholders to enhance cohesion and efficiency of the port systems.
In line with this, she argued that the government should streamline some of the activities and functions of some agencies of the ggovernment some of which are either cnflicting or over-lapping.
“There is need for cooperation and collaboration among the critical stakeholders in the maritime industry and related sectors of the Nigerian economy. We all have one overriding objective and that is to create an enabline environment for investors to come into the industry, which will contribute to the efforts of the government in moving the economy forward, synergy is crucial to realising these objectives”, she said.
Akande also said: “A number of activities need to be streamlined by some of the aencies of the government for effectivency and effectiveness and these agencies at the ports need to work more harmoniously in the interest of the larger economy”
She also called for the introduction and implementation of the right policies as part of strategies for pulling the nation out of her current economic predicaments.
While commending the Shippers Counci for organising the stakeholders’ night as well as carrying out its regultory functions creditably, she enjoined the stakeholders to throw their weight behind the council in its bid to make the seaports efficient and competitive.