A top member of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); Mr Kayode Farinto, has called on the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, to provide blue print to make the industry viable.
Farinto said on Tuesday in Lagos, that to achieve the blue print, the minister needed to discuss with technocrats in the industry.
According to Farinto, the former acting National President of ANLCA, if the blue print is achieved, it will give the industry focus.
“With the blue print, the ministry can create employment for our teaming youths and it will also ensure the industry generates revenue for Federal Government.
“The untapped resources underwater will be harnessed,” he said.
He decried that the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy had not really been harnessed, noting that their intention when they called for the creation of the ministry, was not known again.
He noted that with the blue print, government would address some of the challenges facing the sector so that they would be able to harness it.
According to Farinto, stakeholders have a lot of issues and challenges facing the maritime sector and the first is the issue of provision of forex for port operations.
“We appreciate the administration of the current Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, as it has addressed the issue of opening Form M, which anyone can do now.
“Others have to do with the call-up system at the port, which is failing now. “It is causing corruption and is leading to hike in cost of cargo clearance. We hope that government will be decisive on it by next year.
“The port access road in the western region is even better but the eastern region is in the deteriorating state, very bad. And government generates nothing less than N50 billion from it daily, and government seems to be looking the other way,” he said.
He urged the minister of works to look into the issue and see how the access road to the eastern port could be addressed for more productivity at the port.
He noted that for Nigeria to strengthen naira, it needed to address the issue of exportation, adding that there was need to encourage exporters to bring their cargoes through rail.
“It will discourage a lot of things like extortion on the road, various illegal taxes paid. It will improve the turnaround time for cargo. It takes time to bring a cargo all the way from North to the port to be exported.
“If we have a cargo train, things can be done under two/three days and this can strengthen naira and before we know it naira will be competing with dollars,” he said.
Farinto also urged Nigeria’s policy formulators to sit up and look at areas in the maritime sector where this administration could harness to generate revenue.