As the countdown to the end of the year begins and Yuletide gets nearer, a Lagos-based licensed customs agent, Prince Olusegun Ologbese, has decried the dearth of business in the nation’s seaports, airports and international borders.
Ologbese, who is also the Managing Director of Ogbese International Limited, told journalists in Lagos that despite the fact that the period is often associated with brisk business, the situation in the nation’s seaports, airports and international borders is nothing to write home about, as there is no business for freight forwarders.
Popularly called Alaye, Ologbese, who is a veteran in the freight forwarding business, called on the government to do something tangible immediately to reverse the fortunes of the nation’s seaports, airports and international borders.
He identified some of the factors responsible for the lull in the business activities in the ports to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s mop-up operation, which has resulted in the inability of importers to get loans to import goods into the country.
Ologbese said the worrisome situation would have adverse effect on not only the economy of the nation but also on the citizens. “Already, this has started manifesting in so many aspects of the nation. The CBN regulating policy is actually a major contributing factor because the door of lending to small scale business as well as large scale business as well as major entrepreneurs has been closed”, he said.
According to him, “even the Bureau De Change which the importers run to for foreign exchange is no more in business. It has become problem for the importers to get money to pay their foreign manufacturers who at times send good to them on credit. Terminal operators and service providers are not helping the matter because they do not drop containers on demand. They give five to six days and they still charge the importer/agent for demurrage which they did not cause and it ought not to be so.”
He alleged that many of the bonded terminals have been thrown out of business because the terminal operators refused to stem containers to them.