The Shippers Association of Lagos, SAL, has said that apart from oil and gas, the maritime sector is critical for the economic growth of the country.
The President of the association, Jonathan Nicole, who made this known in an interview, yesterday, in Lagos, contended that for government to reap benefits from the sector, it should look into maritime problems and proffer lasting solutions to them.
He said if the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, could generate about N2 trillion, agencies like Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration, and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in the maritime sector could equally generate huge incomes.
“Looking at the income of Nigeria Customs, they were able to rake in N2 trillion, it shows how dynamic Nigerian importers and shippers are.
“In spite of the enormous challenges, the constant increase in income of the customs remains the same. So we commend the efforts of the trading community, they have done well.
“We feel that we should have been able to do more to support the government but the challenges are enormous sometimes we wonder if the country cares because the bills we pay are also enormous.
“This is in spite of the fact that we try as much as possible to cooperate with government regulations and keep up with the expectations of government,” he said.
Nicole pointed out that shippers also expect the government to reciprocate their efforts, saying as at now, there are no palliatives for shippers at all.
He said that shippers pay too many bills, adding that what they used to spend like N10,000 on before now has gone to about N200,000.