19 February 2015, Lagos – The Nigerian Shippers” Council, NSC, has commenced moves to reclaim over 300,000 metric tonnes of transit cargoes that were hitherto lost to port of neighbouring countries.
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers” Council Mr. Hassan Bello said that the plans to reclaim lost transit cargoes was beginning to yield result as some landlocked countries are ready to transit their imports through Nigerian ports.
Bello also said that since efficiency was returning to the Nigerian ports, the confidence of importers in landlocked countries was also gradually returning.
The Council boss explained that. Importers in landlocked know that it more cost effective to transit their through Nigerian seaports.
He further explained before the ports in Nigeria were concessioned, a lot of inefficiency bedevilled the Nigerian port industry as importers from landlocked had to look else where for better efficiency.
He also commended the management of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, for its support to reclaim lost transit cargo adding that the return of these transit cargoes will create jobs, and increase revenue to government coffers
“We have always emphasize the issue of competition and efficiency, so transit cargoes are won and lost through efficiency of a port.
“Long before Nigerian ports were concessioned, the Nigerian ports were really inefficient and some landlocked countries that patronized Nigerian ports had to resort to neighbouring countries to transit their cargoes.
“Even though the movement of their through ports of neighbouring countries does not make sense to them in term of proximity and cost and other economy scale, it is preferable that they have their goods imported through Nigerian ports.
Nigerien importers are ready to start using Nigerian ports, about a year or so ago, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council led a trade delegation to Niger Republic together with terminal operators and some shipping companies where Nigerian ports were marketed”.
“We were able to convince the Nigerien private sector that it makes more economic sense to import through Nigerian ports” he added.
The return of this category of cargo according to the Council boss, will the country’s haulage business and further develop the inland container depots.