National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, has laid the blame of the loss of revenue in Nigerian ports at the doorsteps of the Federal Government auto policy which he said has reduced the workforce in the maritime sector by 70 percent, while urging the FG to review the policy, due to its negative impact on the economy.
“The impact associated with the implementation of the auto policy is as follows: the diversion of cars carrying vessel to neighbouring West African ports as a result of high tariff on imported vehicles; and the reduction of the maritime workforce by 70 per cent, which affects mostly licensed customs agents, importers, dealers and Nigerians abroad.”
The reduction of activities by 70 per cent in the operation of terminal operators who pay the Federal Government based on cargo, through earnings and shipping companies, has drastically affected their activities.
“Other effects of the policy include the mass movement of Nigerians to neighbouring countries to handle shipment of the diverted vessels; the huge loss of revenue due to government from import duty; the high cost of purchasing vehicles in the country due to the increase of tariff to 35 per cent/70 per cent on almost every imported vehicle.”
He however called on government to address the implementation gap in the policy.
Recall that the auto policy, which was introduced by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan aimed to encourage auto firms to set up assembly firms in Nigeria, the policy has however continued to generate controversies with many stakeholders divided by it.