News hotlines: 08111813019, 08025868561
Amiwero faults CBN interest in fiscal policies, says forex restriction on 41 items killed ports
More reasons have emerged on why Nigerian ports are witnessing lowest ebb in business activities in terms of container throughput and business generation for Nigerians who hitherto make their living in and around the ports.
Mr. Lucky Eyis Amiwero is a leading Maritime industry consultant and analyst. Apart from currently being the National President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agent (NCMDLCA), he has served in not less than 167 Committees in the industry and nine of them are presidential committees.
In an interview, he revealed that “The restriction of the 41 items is supposed to be a fiscal policy, not an exchange rate policy”.
“It is supposed to be coordinated by the Ministry of Finance and not by the Central Bank of Nigeria. In the first place, it was a wrong thing that they have done. They don’t have the right to talk about 41 items but they can talk about their exchange rate policy.
He said Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is only for exchange rate not on fiscal policy because the CBN Act is very clear. So that is where they got it wrong.
Continuing, the chairman of Eyis Resources Limited averred that “The ban should not have come from CBN because they have no such right because they don’t have the template on the process of importation and exportation”.
“They have the template for exchange rate and monetary policy, not fiscal policy. The ban is one of the things that killed the port industry. What the government should have done is to look at the template that the Finance (Ministry) is having and work with the template because it is the Finance Ministry that regulates the fiscal policies.
“Even the CBN is supposed to be under the Finance Ministry but what is happening now is what you get when an agency feels it has autonomy and that is why our economy has collapsed,” Amiwero said.
Giving more insights on the level of business activities at the ports in the last two years, the seasoned maritime consultant said “Due to government policies, the ports have become so dry. Cargo throughput has been low and the exchange rate policy has also contributed in no small measure to the low cargo throughput”.
“The auto policy too affected the port and still affecting the port till date. Activities at the port are not encouraging because a lot of people have left the port and not much activity is happening. In his further submission, he said “The last two years have been so terrible; a lot of people lost their jobs so we cannot say anything substantial have happened in the past two years, it has been so difficult largely due to government inconsistent policies”.
“It is has been worst because it has never happened in the history of this country where people are begging and want to commit suicide. They are worried because there are no jobs. Manufacturing companies and even the Small Medium Scale Enterprise are closing down because they can’t even lay their hands on foreign exchange. So the economic indices are not so great, it has been looming and that is not the best for us especially for those who are involved in the import and export business.