• Friday, July 19, 2024
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LCCI bemoans disruption in manufacturers’ production schedules

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lamented continuous disruption of production schedules of manufacturers owing to delays of raw materials at the Lagos ports, saying the situation has made timely delivery of the inputs difficult at factories.

The Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) was introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in place of Risk Assessment Report (RAR) on December 1, 2013. The rationale behind its introduction is to fast-track cargo clearance at the ports and ensure that goods do not stay longer on arrival.

According to the NCS, its issuance is expected to take a maximum of six hours, but stakeholders are increasingly getting agitated that issuance now takes up to 21 days or more.

The LCCI says apart from factory disruption, it has raised high cost of borrowed funds by importers and manufacturers as well as demurrage charges.

“The 48-hour target set by government is far from being achieved. Major problem areas include delays in the positioning of cargo at the port terminals, inadequate equipment of cargo handling, poor ports access, high incidence of block-stacking and delays in cargo releases from shipping lines,’’ says Remi Bello, president, LCCI, at the first quarter economic briefing in Lagos last Wednesday.

“Above all, the rail system designed to evacuate cargo from the Lagos ports need to be resuscitated as a matter of utmost urgency. The menace of trucks, trailers and tankers on Lagos roads in particular, and the national road network in general has assumed an unbearable dimension,’’ he states.

On the security situation of the nation, Bello says manufacturing firms sourcing their raw materials in the North are currently facing challenges, while inventory and stocks of many have been trapped in many locations in the affected states, adding that many firms, especially in the consumer goods sector, have lost up to 30 percent of their sales, given that they can no longer access most part of the market, while projects funded by banks in the affected states are at an increasing risk.

“We are aware that the government is doing its best, but evidently a great deal still needs to be done to restore normalcy and investors’ confidence. There is need to strengthen intelligence as this is critical to any strategy in tackling terrorism and insurgency,’’ he states.