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Horrible port access roads pushes cargo haulage from N50,000 to N350,000—Nebe

More reasons have emerged on why costs of imported goods are rising by the day in Nigeria.

In an interview, the managing director of Pharmatex Group, Prince Christopher Obiora Nebe said “Doing business in Nigerian ports has been terrible. Everywhere is blocked and nobody is saying anything about it”.

“The Apapa Port is closed. How can you go to Apapa? Cost of transporting goods now from the ports is about N350,000 for one trailer. It used to be N50,000. The trailers will stay on the road for almost four days before they can get to their destination. So, all these things are costs to the importer and manufacturer because they have to bring in these things before they start manufacturing.

While thanking the federal government on efforts being made to fix some portions of the road, he called for timely delivery and to some extent, a palliative in terms of waivers for importers using the roads so as to lessen the burden of cargo movement costs.

On the real impacts of prevailing import policies of the government, Nebe averred that “Many of the policies are not even encouraging local manufacturing because some of the 41 items restricted to easy access to forex are manufacturers’ core raw materials in the first instance.”

In his voice, “Import policies for manufacturers are killing local manufacturers. For example, manufacturers should be given incentives. We are the employers of labour.

“How can you employ about 200 to 300 people and the government is not giving you encouragement. The government should ensure manufacturers are given foreign exchange any time they want it. In fact, they should be giving manufacturers incentives. We have what we call PMG at MAN.

“This is an arm of our manufacturing unit in Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). The issue is that you must work through them. They know the real manufacturers. If you don’t go through them, many things will enter the wrong hands.

According to Pharmatex industries boss, “Manufacturers are supposed to be given zero import duty because we are giving people employment. We have to be given incentives. Made-in-Nigeria goods are also having problems. Some people prefer foreign-made goods. But what is in foreign goods is also here”.

On waivers for manufacturers for duties and taxes, he revealed that “There are no waivers. Instead, they are increasing the duties on imported goods and raw materials every day”.

“For instance, we are not supposed to pay VAT but they introduced VAT. How can you say you are introducing VAT for somebody who is employing people and putting food on their table by the employments he is creating and taking people off the streets of Nigeria. We are supposed to be given concessions.

“There is this National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA). They say we should be paying for NESREA. How can we be paying for NESREA? Most the products NESREA is collecting money on are not worth it. How can NESREA collect money on Paracetamol?  What is harmful in Paracetamol raw materials? This is an additional levy to the manufacturers because, apart from VAT, we now pay for NESERA,” Nebe decried.