SHIPPERS DECRY MULTIPLE CHARGES

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Rev. Jonathan Nicol

The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) has attributed the high cost of cargo processing at seaports to the multiple charges on imported goods.

Its President Mr. Jonathan Nicol said the five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) and the one per cent Pre- Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) charges were some of the charges.

The others are the 35 per cent Automobile Levy and the Common External Tariffs levy.

According to him, the combined charges on one consignment takes affect shipper’s profit.

The Shippers urged the Federal Government to address the outcry of industrialist, manufacturers, who constituted the shippers to reduce the overall cost of doing business at the ports

He also urged the Federal Ministry of Finance to provide leadership in managing the problems of the shipping community.

The shippers’ boss said the government should think about the huge investments in building seaports as well as maritime prospects in the next 20 years to attract more cargo.

Nicol also suggested that plans must be made by the government to secure and promote the local industries, the manufacturing sector and the shippers.

He noted that it was the duty of the government to encourage private entrepreneurs towards sustainable contributions to developing the economy.

“When you add the costs of generating power in a factory with salaries, these costs cannot be by-passed whether you like it or not.

“You must provide power for your factory and you must pay staff salaries,” he said.

Nicol said that the bottlenecks at the ports were largely the reason behind government’s appointment of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the economic regulator.

He, however, said the Council was aware of some problems.—The Nation

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