The Organised Private sector (OPS) has reacted to the proposal by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) that there should be a maximum of seven days’ cargo dwell time at the nation’s ports.
Recall that the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC); Mr Hassan Bello had expressed optimism that the newly-introduced Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM) and the electronic call up of trucks introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) will reduce cargo dwell time in Nigerian ports to about seven days in the first quarter of 2021.
Bello had in an exclusive chat with our correspondent in Lagos last week, said that the aim of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM) will be to reduce cargo dwell time in Nigeria from 22 days to seven days.
He had said that, “currently there is about “22 days’ cargo dwell time in Nigeria, 4 days’ dwell time in Lome; Togo, seven days in Cotonou port. Our aim is seven days’ dwell time in Nigeria, maybe within the first quarter of this year that is the imperative”.
However, reacting to the report, the Director General of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); Dr. Muda Yussuf described the aspiration as a tall order considering the Nigeria Port environment. He noted that although it is possible, there is need for Shippers Council to rally other key stakeholders to achieve this.
According to him, “that’s a tall order because we have so many constraints coming from the different agencies of the government, there are multiple centers of bottlenecks within the system that makes it a tall order, but there is nothing wrong in thinking big or aspiring to be the best
“So, if NSC have that aspiration, then all of us who are stakeholders should encourage and support them because it is in the interest of our economy and country to achieve that kind of aspiration, because it’s not something that it is impossible to achieve if all the key stakeholders in the maritime sector subscribe to it”
“We need to get the leadership of the country at the highest level to appreciate the importance of making the maritime sector more investment-friendly achieving a lot more in the ease of doing business agenda of the government in the maritime sector, because if you look at the issues of ease of doing business, the area where we are performing the least in the parameters is in the maritime sector, so there is a whole lot of work that needs to be done. So if Shippers Council has this aspiration then its fine, they are the economic regulator of the port, so they should be able to achieve it”, he said.
Also speaking to our correspondent, the Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Mr. Segun Ajayi Kadiri also noted that achieving the seven days’ cargo dwell time at the port before the end of first quarter looks impossible ,but he also noted that, already there are some African countries doing below seven days. He also stressed that with the support of other stakeholders, the seven days’ cargo dwell time is possible.
“To start with, I will say it is a welcome development and some African countries are already doing better than that, that Nigeria is moving away from this current situation and cutting down from the dwell time will mean a relief for the economy and the manufacturing sector in particular. The longer your cargo which will bear your spare part, raw materials and your machineries, the lesser the time they spend at the port the better for your business”, he said.
Addressing the advantages, he noted that, “it will reduce your down time, it will ensure that you deliver your products in good time, it will also reduce the issue of possible theft and all the dangers associated with allowing your cargo to stay longer in the port, so it’s a welcome development.
“However, we must know where we are coming from, and where we are planning to go, my assumption is that coming from that level of management, it should be expected that he has done his home work and they have seen that it is possible that they can achieve it. So I believe it is possible and I come from a school of thought that everything we can dream of is possible, all it takes is the will and the capacity to make it happen. I have no doubt that we can even do better than that, so it is not difficult for me to predict and we only look forward to him making it happen”, he stated.
“The end of the first quarter is less than 30days away so we look forward to coming up with a road map for achieving that and how he intends to”, he concluded.