The Shippers Association of Lagos (SALS) laments Nigeria’s agro-allied exports to Europe and other European Union (EU) countries. According to the association, 82% of the exported agro-allied products are rejected or confiscated in European Union countries.
Therefore, Rev. Jonathan Nicole, the president of (SALS) calls on the government and Nigeria Port Authority of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) to address some of these challenges and primary causes of marine backwardness.
According to him, some of the challenges experienced in 2021 result from the need to get a better trading platform. He, therefore, notes that Nigeria’s foreign exchange restrictions would be detrimental to the economy as a wide range of sectors, including exports and imports to Europe, would be affected.
The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria (CREFFPON) warns the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to the bodies, this will affect ports investment and give other West African countries an advantage over Nigeria.
Edwin Chukwudire Obi, CREFFPON, Desk Officer, says importers’ access to foreign exchange has been denied, thus making them rely on the black market. Also, 41 products have been banned by the Finance Ministry and CBN policies.
The association emphasised that the CBN’s foreign exchange administration has negatively affected the country and trading. It claims that the policies encourage trade irregularities and non-compliance by traders.
According to Jonathan Nicole, importation is bound to suffer due to these restrictions, and importers find it difficult to pay the freight fee of $5,000 for 30 days.
He says, “Freight above $5,000 will be held up until freight charges have been fully prepaid upfront. Goods will attract storage charges abroad for as long as the freight is pending, and this type of restriction is counterproductive.
However, it is encouraging that President Buhari promised to provide foreign exchange for industries and manufacturers in 2022 because of the importance of local production of essential materials and for exports”, he says.
Another major difficulty, according to Nicole, is that 82% of Nigeria’s agro-allied exports to Europe and other European Union (EU) countries are either confiscated or rejected because they are unlawfully exported without government authorization.
In light of this, “82 per cent of export cargo is enormous. With this in view, it might grossly affect our farmers directly or indirectly without export proceeds from the receivers abroad,” he said. He added that this will affect the country’s revenue and the farmers.