By Adelola Amihere
The Secretary, National Freight Haulers Association (NFHA), FCT chapter, Amobi Adukwu has lamented that as far as the business environment in Nigeria is concerned, importers are having a tough time importing goods into the country due to the bureaucracies that abound in the process.
This is just as he stated that the Executive Order by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the Ease of Doing Business was a mere order and is not being implemented at the ports.
Adukwu raised the alarm at the Abuja Shippers Association Stakeholders meeting and 2nd Quarter General meeting held in Abuja.
He said: “The reality is that as far as Nigeria is concerned for now, it is not easy for people to bring in goods even though the customs spokesperson says the problem is sometimes whether they under declare, fail to declare or they to cut corners.
“But I can tell you this same people go to Benin Republic or Togo and these things are cleared within one week so what is that thing that is making Nigerians to under declare or fail to declare at all. That means some of our bureaucracy is very wrong”.
He alleged that often times, after inspection of containers have been carried out and the goods taken away, they (Customs) still want to maintain the empty containers so that importers continue to pay demurrage.
“It doesn’t happen in other ports in our neighbouring countries that is why we are losing market and with the trans African trade signed into law by Mr President, it then means that most people are now free to abandon Nigerian sea port and go to other sea ports to import their goods.
“The Executive Order by the Vice President on reducing the number of persons to the ports through the ease of doing business has not yielded any difference. Have you been to any of the ports? The same bureaucracy still remains. It is one thing to give an order and another to follow the order through”, he added.