The Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry ( LCCI) has said that the National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control ( NAFDAC) charges on products registration is too high, especially for first entry products.
This was disclosed yesterday at the maiden Town Hall Meeting of Business and Maritime on ”Cargo Handling and Terminal Charges held in Lagos.
Dr Ikenna Nwosu who spoke on the ” Current Trends and Challenges in Cargo Handling/ Charges in Nigeria”: The Experience Of Members Of The Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, said that Standard Organization Of Nigeria ( SON) and National Food and Drugs Administration and Control ( NAFDAC) penalties restrictively high and without measurable parameter for tariffing.
Outlining the current challenges in cargo clearance in Nigeria, Nwosu who is a council member LCCI Clearing and Forwarding Trade Group said that access roads to all seaports, airports and land ports/ borders in Nigeria are totally dilapidated making those facilities inaccessible by vehicles. The infrastructure in the seaports have not met the minimum agreements negotiated with seaports terminals concessionaires, and dock terminals/ bonded warehouses are significantly lacking in cargo handling equipment and optimal office facilities for customs and non – customs agencies.
He also identified that there is no commercial services on weekends, public / religious holidays leading to earning of unjustified demurrage and storage charges for periods when the service is not rendered, SON illegally enters the seaports to examine cargo and issue debit notes even when they are not so invited by customs, there are too many non – customs agencies in all seaports, airports, land ports and off dock terminal, customs unit are too many and fragmented, leading to disparate regulation, over – regulation, service disrespect amongst officers and unclear hierarchies.
In order to address to address the challenges, the LCCI representative said that the police should have no business with cargo clearance, same with SSS, The Customs Units, Federal Operations Unit should be stopped from operating inside the ports as they do not add value and tally units should be restricted to cargo offload from vessel. Other solutions according to him is that SON should be prohibited from arresting any cargo in transit from the port to warehouse, all shipping lines must ensure they resume by 8am – 5pm daily as operates for airlines at the airports, Invoicing and cargo release should be on line via single window platform for 24 hours operations, while all seaport terminal operators should provide the required infrastructure as negotiated and entry gate for all cargo terminals must be sanitized.