Shippers’ Council, Air Freight Forum Decry Low Activities In Abuja

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), and a group called ‘Airfreight Forum’ have  met to deliberate over challenges causing low freight activities in Abuja Airport.

The First Quarter Airfreight Stakeholders Forum (ASF), meeting 2019 was held at the Airport in Abuja.

Mr Sunday Akintunde, the Chairman of the forum said that the cost of exporting from Abuja was too high with so much bureaucracy, which discouraged exporters.

According to him, for enabling environment to be created, government needs to review some policies and agencies of government must make export guidelines accessible to exporters.

He said that exporters exports goods to Ghana before taking it to other parts of the world because of the cheap import rate in Ghana.

“The cost of doing business in Abuja is on the high side, customers are complaining as well as the agents.

‘’The issuance of tariff from the Ministry of Agriculture is also too high and no machine for the analysis of CCI form in Abuja.

“We don’t have the enabling environment to make export happen in Nigeria, we need policy makers, and we want the President to know that nothing is happening in freight if we need to diversify our economy,” he said.

Akintunde, however said that at the end of the meeting, a committee would be set up headed by Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), to look into these challenges and proffer solutions.

Mr Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of the Shippers Council, promised that the council would look into the challenges facing exports, especially in Abuja.

Bello, who was represented by Muhammed Abubakar, Director, Abuja Liaison Office, said the council would meet with service providers and users to address their challenges.

He said the main objective of the council was to fastrack clearance of cargoes and ensure adequate storage of cargoes and perishable items, to attract more exporters into the business.

“This forum is very important to us because NSC is the economy regulator of Nigeria ports, the forum is organised for the service providers and users in the air freight sector to meet and interact.

“We know that a lot of international trade takes place at the airport, but freight has been low in Abuja. So, we are going to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders with the aim of improving on it.”