Ease of doing business: ports operators decry poor infrastructure, policy

Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA)

THE Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), says inadequate infrastructure, insecurity and poor operational policy have continued to hinder the ‘Ease of doing business’ in Nigerian Ports.

Mr Farinto Collins, the Acting President of the association said this at stakeholders interactive session/awards night held on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.

The event was organised by the Business and Maritime Writers Association of Nigeria (BUMWAN) in collaboration with ANLCA.

It provided an opportunity for stakeholders to identify and proffer solutions to challenges affecting operators at the Eastern Ports.

Collins said that operators were faced with multiple taxation, insecurity, infrastructure decay and even extortion by some ports officials, a practice which he described as “business terrorism’’.

According to him, the challenges are responsible for the business down-turn presently being faced by shipping agents and vessel owners at the Eastern ports.

Also speaking, Mr Naved Zafar, the Managing Director, West African Container Terminal (WACT) said that the challenges being faced by operators were threatening the ports concession agreement.

Zafar was represented by Mr Chika Umeh, the company’s Commercial Manager.

The Chairman of ANLCA, Onne Seaport chapter, Mr Mike Ebeatu, decried poor state of the Eleme/Onne area of the East-West road and urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to fix the road.

Earlier, Mr Peter Ihejirika, the National President of BUMWAN said the essence of the event was to further strengthen the maritime sector, while also commending ANLCA and other stakeholders for the synergy.

Highlights of the event were the presentation of awards/commendation certificates by BUMWAN to Collins, Ebeatu and Mr Auwal Muhammad, WACT among others. (NAN)