A top Federal Ministry of Finance official says the Federal Government can make over N3trillion yearly from the maritime sector, if it is well structured.
The official who spoke in camera with Journalists after the visit of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport’s to the Lagos ports recently, observed that there has been a reduction in the number of vessels, calling at Lagos ports, blaming the reduction on some policies on importation.
He advised President Muhammadu Buhari to invest the 30 per cent of the huge amount of revenue being generated from the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and that of Tin Can Island ports into upgrading them to international standards, informing that ”Customs alone, could generate about half of the money, if loopholes were blocked and if the government stops the abuse of the waiver clause.
While appealing to the President Buhari to review import policies, especially the foreign exchange (forex) restriction on 41 items,
regretted how “in 2006, $1 exchanged for about N130, but today it is about N360 to a dollar, which implies a significant decline of about 70 per cent in the value of the national currency since port concession, and that is why the Minister of Transport needs to reposition the maritime sector”.
Investigations revealed that activities at the ports were very low because of the exchange rate policy. For instance, findings revealed that activities at the RoRo Terminal and Tin Can Island in Lagos were at their lowest ebb.
The exchange rate and the auto policy (High import duty on used vehicles) have impacted negatively on importers, freight forwarders and revenue from government agencies.