L-R: Former MD of NAHCO Aviance, Mr Kayode Ojo, Chairperson, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, Mrs Vicky Haastrup, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, President Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT), Mr Ibrahim Jibril, during the Opening of the 2nd edition of Multimodal West Africa exhibition in Lagos yesterday
The Federal Government has halted the implementation of the controversial palletisation policy, which was to have commenced on January 1, 2018.
The suspension was confirmed by the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council; Mr Hassan Bello yesterday while delivering a paper on Ease of Doing Business and Strengthening Investors’ Confidence at the second edition of Multimodal West Africa Conference which is holding in Lagos between January 23 and 25, 2018.
Responding to a question from one of the participants on palletisation, Bello confirmed that the suspension was spearheaded by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council because of the opposition it generated after the Minister of Finance; Mrs Kemi Adeosun announced the policy last year.
The Minister had last year, said the new measure would aid manual examination of consignment while the country awaits the acquisition and installation of functional scanners at the seaports and land borders.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop on revised import and export guidelines organised by the Ministry of Finance in Lagos, she had asked all stakeholders directly involved in the export and import trade value chains to become acquainted with export and import guidelines to avoid sanction.
“In order to ensure quick clearance of import at the Nigerian ports and borders, the additional responsibilities assigned to the relevant government agencies would be carried out in a well-coordinated and collaborated manner, while the sanctions specified for non-compliance with the provisions of the guidelines would be strictly and impartially applied across board’’, she said.
The minister had also given January 1, 2018 as the take-off date for the new policy.
But, yesterday, the Shippers’ Council boss; Bello stated that the suspension was to allow room for more discussions on the policy, even as he confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has been directed to stop its implementation.
He however hinted that the suspension was a temporary one, saying that nothing has been concluded yet.
According to him, palletisation has its own disadvantages, which could not be overlooked and which its opponents have vehemently brought to the attention of government.
The Shippers’ Council boss also argued that to ensure ease of doing business in the nation’s seaports, they must be equipped with scanning machines.
Also speaking at the event which was attended by private and public sector players in transport and logistics chain, the President of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril applauded Multimodal Modal West Africa, describing it as a gateway for showcasing the untapped potentials of the logistics and transport sector in the West African sub-region.
He said: "CILT Nigeria is proud to identify with the initiative as the event patron through our partnership with the organizers, Clarion Events West Africa. In our view, Multimodal West Africa is the gateway to showcasing the untapped potentials of the logistics & transport sector in the West Africa sub region. You would agree with me that the importance of logistics & transport to any business cannot be over emphasized as it dates back to time in memorial".
The CILT President also reiterated the importance of ease of doing business in other to ensure sustainable development.
"To enhance the growth recovery while ensuring sustainable development, the ease of doing business is inevitable. As we all know a hassle free and seamless transportation system and the movement of goods and services from one end of the country to the other. Multimodal transportation will bring about the development and economic restoration that will seek not neglecting the effect it will also have on productivity of other sectors, improve our rating on the global logistics performance index and more so, industrialization", he said.
He also said that the institution has identified Multimodal West Africa as a platform that will enhance productivity in the nation.
"CILT is fully committed to the success of the sector and have identified Multimodal West Africa as a platform that will enhance productivity and build capacity for out great nation and West Africa in general. Multimodal is a platform created t help importers &exporters find the most effective supply chain solutions to move their goals more reliably"