How to reduce high cost of doing business in Nigerian ports – Saraki

Gbemisola Saraki, Nigeria’s minister of state for transportation, has listed measures that her ministry will, in collaboration with service providers, adopt to address the high cost of doing business in Nigerian ports.

According to Saraki, ensuring that shipping companies refund container deposit fees and reduce the dwell time of cargo at the port will help reduce costs for consignees.

Speaking during an interactive meeting with maritime stakeholders, including terminal operators, shipping companies, freight forwarders, and others in Lagos on Wednesday, the minister said she would put processes in place to ensure that shipping companies promptly refund monies deposited by importers before taking delivery of their containerised consignments.

She said the ministry of transport would also be working with other stakeholders to reduce cargo dwell time at the port, which will help eliminate demurrage and storage charges.

The minister assured stakeholders of sustained communication and engagement geared towards making the port more productive and business-friendly.

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“The maritime industry is an engine room of our national economy and as such, we must ensure that infrastructure is adequate and there is synergy in the industry. Communication is the first step to solving any business problem. So, we are here to talk with our stakeholders,” she said.

Continuing, she said the enterprise architecture the ministry plans to implement would ensure that communication at the ports is dynamic.

“At the ministry, we value all our stakeholders as partners in governance and business,” Saraki said.

The stakeholders commended Saraki for convening the meeting and assured her of cooperation to reposition the maritime industry for greater productivity.

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