Segun Alabi (Clearing Agent)
Like every other Nigerian, I expect the polity to be stable, because it drives every other sector and it will in turn affect maritime business. As you are aware, last year was the era of meltdown, if the banks are vibrant by providing the necessary support for business, the year will be a better one for all including; the maritime sector and business will spring up, because the pace of import will increase and in Nigeria if the melt down issue is looked into the industry will be better than that of last year.
Achuagu Joseph (Car Dealer)
I expect that things will improve this year, because the issues of melt down and reforms in banks have really affected our business as car dealers. We also hope that government will look at the issue of giving us a conducive environment suitable for business. Though demand is not much due to the harsh economic situation, but we hope and pray that the stress faced at the ports by our agents in clearing our cars will be looked into and our government should find a lasting solution to our roads here in Apapa and Tin can as well as traffic situation.
Ogbonna Uche (Clearing Agent)
My expectations this year is that the freight forwarding industry should be more fruitful and that the hardships that we face at the port during clearing of our consignments are settled, so we can do our business conveniently. The year 2010 should be better off with hope, but the government should help in repairing the access roads to the ports at Tin can and the main road too.
The freight forwarding bodies should come together under one umbrella to have a say in this maritime sector, as it will accord us the necessary recognition and respect from stakeholders.
Aliu Musa (Dockworker)
As a dockworker, I pray that things improve and that all other aspects that need attention in our activities be looked into by the union, NPA and our terminal operators that we work for respectively.
We had our difficult times before now and I think its high time that things took a new turn, we should be accorded necessary respect by stakeholders; the fact that we are dockworkers does not make other people in the industry better off.
I am sure the maritime industry will perform better this year.
Major H.A Ajetunmobi (GM Facilities & Projects, Sifax)
We are expecting to see improvement in terms of cargo and ship traffic, last year wasn’t too good because the traditional import mode we associated with the last quarter of 2009 didn’t just happen, so this year we are hoping that the industry will pick up and it will be a boost to the economy. We expect that the stakeholders, especially the terminal operators will be encouraged to have more confidence so as to improve the facilities on ground for cargo facilitation.
Also, this year we expect that there will be reduction in the dwell time of vessels; also, stakeholders must ensure that they fully cooperate with the terminal operators for quick cargo clearance from the ports. On the part of government, we expect that there will be improvements in ports infrastructures, the port access roads should be repaired so as to reduce the number of accidents and falling-off of containers to nil, There should be more indigenous participation in the industry especially in the area of Cabotage; the government’s appointed target of 48 hour cargo clearance should be more visible than what we had last year, because among the operators last year, practically no one came close to that target. For all these changes to be in place there must be some institutional and systemic changes, especially in individual attitudes.
Tope Wan (T&K Commercial Ent.)
Currently there is nothing in place to make us hope there will be changes in the industry. First of all, the access roads leading to the ports are in a bad shape yet the government is making several millions of Naira from the ports. I can now see the reason why the Niger Deltans are fighting the government, our leaders go out of the country and they see how things are done, yet they cannot come back and implement what they have seen, they prefer to make money out of illegality.
The ports are still crawling with unnecessary agents and touts fronting for security agents; this year should not go like that because all these culminated into a lot of problems last year.
Tunji Obagbo (POTMAN)
First of all, the wheat needs to be separated from the chaff and this will be achieved when the CISN bill is signed into law hopefully this year, it will let us know who the real practitioners are, currently there are half baked practitioners out there who are not professionals and yet parade themselves as one. Also in this year, we need to concentrate on building more capacity. Another major concern is the issue of port security, the security on the waterways is a national issue, and NIMASA have to do more this year in collaboration with the Navy and other stakeholders.
Oladipo Bolade (Clearing Agent)
We hope to see better times to come; we hope to see improvements in customs operations and a mutual working agreement among all stakeholders to achieve something better in 2010.
Hopefully, this year, the maritime industry will be more security conscious, as we have different security organs within the ports and every one of them should tighten their belt so that at the end of the day, we will have a fair if not perfect security in the ports.
We hope to see the clearing agents being more professional so that they can do their work professionally.