Aloga Ogbogo (National Secretary, NARTO)
The year has been full of challenges. Generally the foreign exchange has affected businesses drastically and this has a chain effect. Most of the raw materials that come into the country; be it finished or semi-finished is a function of foreign exchange. For us in the transport sector, businesses have not boomed so much. The impact of the foreign exchange in Nigeria has a multiplying effect. The maritime industry cannot be said to be too good in 2022, but not also too bad. But again, the impact of the foreign exchange which is a determinant factor of the entire maritime industry has affected the sector to that extent.
Comrade Adeyinka Aroyewun (National President, COMTUA)
In 2022, the business has been relatively slow. The importation of goods is also slow. The traffic congestion resulting from the road construction is also one of the problems we witnessed in 2022. However, a lot of policies put in place by the government especially the government of Lagos state, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and Nigerian Ports Authority on traffic seems to be alleviating some of the sufferings. It can only get better. We hope for a better 2023.
Chief Remi Ogungbemi (National President, AMATO)
The business is very dull. No truck owner is breaking even now. Truck owners are not making money at all. There are lots of things going on that is why we see most of the trucks in rickety condition. This is because the revenue we are to use to take care of the trucks are taken away from us directly or indirectly by either state actors or non-state actors. This is a very big problem. The more we try to cater from these challenges, the more things are compounding.
Engineer Bob Yousuo (National President, Nigerian Merchant Navy)
There is nothing to appraise because things are not moving. The economy is bad and to me nothing is moving. The people that are working are trying to survive. They cannot even take good care of themselves. Everyone is lamenting. No more incoming vessels that will create jobs. There are no job opportunities, because the vessels are going. When the vessels keep leaving our waters, the economy will begin to suffer. To me, the maritime industry this year is not encouraging at all. We hope that next year will be better than this.
Captain Williams Ogunsakin (South West Director, MESAN)
The Deep Blue Project by NIMASA is a success in the maritime industry but we are still expecting more. At least, it has helped to minimise the effects of pirate attacks at sea. Generally the effect of piracy has reduced drastically in our territorial waters. That is a success on the part of the government, Nigerian Navy and NIMASA. But when it comes to seafaring, the maritime industry as a whole is no where. Indigenous ship owning in Nigeria is almost going to zero; compared to the past. There is a high level of foreign dominance on our waters. The training of Nigerian seafarers under the NSDP and other indigenous training institutions is a success in some areas, but most importantly there are no placements for them to work after certification. Even those that are lucky to be engaged are paid peanuts and also being sidelined for foreign counterparts. There is also a great fear that the CVFF might be disbursed to inappropriate individuals and government cronies leaving out the original ship owners that contributed the fund.
Pius Ujubonu (Factional ANLCA Interim Chairman)
2022 is a very turbulent year in the sense that the fiscal environment is very erratic. The exchange rate have been dwindling and our economy is more or less dependent on the open market than the organised market. It is the open market that tends to determine the open price in the cost of goods in the market. This has made micro economic environment the very inflationary. The purchasing power of the trading public reduced drastically. We have witnessed some reasonable lull in business activities and even the revenue. I don’t even know how well the Customs will be able to meet the N3trn revenue mark. The cargo throughput and businesses for freight forwarders has reasonably declined. This is relative more in Lagos compared to Port Harcourt and other areas. By and large, the Nigeria’s economy vis a vis freight forwarding have been able to a reasonable extent absorb the shock
Simeon Nwonu (Deputy National President, NAGAFF)
The year 2022 has not been bad. If you check the Customs side you will discover that there is an increase in the number of container throughput that came into Nigeria. I think that is a plus to the economy. The usual gridlock which at a point stagnated Apapa and Tin Can corridors have reasonably eased-off. Some sanity has been restored to some terminals in the port which used to be like a marketplace before. At the other side, both importers and freight forwarders are groaning because the Customs duty has continued to increase. Nobody is happy. As a matter of fact, a lot of importers have dropped out because they can no longer cope. This is harmful to the economy because there is great inflation as a result of this. Prices of goods have sky-rocketed beyond means of a common Nigerian, because of the processes of clearing cargoes.
Chief Raymond Gold (National PRO, WABOTAN)
Some improvements have been made and some steps taken forward in the areas of regulation, ensuring safety, and compliance. So I will say 2022 has been a year of improvement but a lot still needs to be done. We are not there yet, particularly in our country. Particularly, the water transportation sector needs a lot of advancement as regards training and certification of boat operators which ensures competence and growth. The last training we did was a success through the support of relevant government agencies and stakeholders. A lot of good things happened. It is a year of progress, but as I said earlier, a lot of things still need to be done.
Kindly like us on Facebook/twitter