Lagos - The Shippers’ Association Lagos
State (SALS) on Monday urged the incoming government to assist shippers in
reducing the costs of doing business at the seaports.
The President of the association, Mr Jonathan Nicol, made
the plea in an interview in Lagos.
Nicol said that high port charges had affected the costs of
doing business in Nigeria, adding that this had encouraged diversion of cargoes
to neighbouring countries.
"We have a very big problem in the maritime sector. We
believe that government will stick to the maritime sector as one of the most
important aspects of the nation’s economy.
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"This will enable other Nigerian shippers who have gone to
the neighbbouring ports to come back.
"We pledge our support for the incoming government in the
aspect of revenue generation at the ports," Nicol told NAN.
He said that Nigerians were still expecting basic
infrastructure such as good roads, water supply, uninterrupted power supply,
good health facilities and free education.
He, however, pleaded that government should reverse the
automotive policy which imposed a 70 per cent levy and duty on imported
vehicles, pending the large production of Made-in-Nigeria cars.
Nicol said, "If the automotive policy comes into existence
without sufficient production of cars in the country, such a policy can destroy
the transport sector.’’