The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Mrs. Victoria Haastrup has picked holes in the cargo clearing process in the country.
Haastrup who is also the Executive Vice Chairman of ENL Consortium Limited, the concessionaire for terminal C at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, said the process is not in line with international standard and practice.
Describing it as “primitive and characterised by a duplicated, manual and too laborious customs checks”, the STOAN Chairman expressed dismay that despite the series of reforms effected in recent years, most of the sub-indices used by the World Bank to measure the Ease of Doing Business in 190 countries of the world are still begging for government’s attention in Nigeria.
She stated this at the just concluded 2018 Multimodal West Africa International Transport, Logistics and Supply Chain Management exhibition organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics of Transport, Nigeria.
She disclosed that there are also too many government agencies involved in cargo examination at the nation’s seaports, airports and international land borders, even as she maintained that all of these slow down trade and add to the cost of doing business in the country.
Her words: “A cursory appraisal of Nigeria’s operating environment reveals a yawning gap in some of the sub-indices in determining the Ease of Doing Business ranking of a country”.
According to her, the parameters include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, access to electricity, registering property, and getting credit.
Others are protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
She maintained that Nigeria is a country with enormous human and material resources with a youthful, teeming population of over 180 million.
She argued that under the right leadership, the economic successes recorded by a country like Singapore will fade in significance when compared to Nigeria.