There are strong indications that the current electioneering activities might be responsible for the drop in cargo throughput at the nation’s seaports.
The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) revealed that cargo throughput and seaport activities recorded an all-time low in the first six weeks of 2023.
It said cargo throughput in the last three weeks dropped to 30 per cent at the Nigerian seaports.
The Chairman of the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, made this revelation at a recent breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), last week.
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Haastrup explained that while the upcoming presidential elections and the uncertainties around the country may have affected imports, the foreign exchange remains one of the major setbacks noting that the purchasing power of importers had weakened further with $1/800 recorded in the parallel market, last week.
She said the growing economic hardship coupled with government fiscal policies on certain imports like Customs duties on vehicles will also define the cargo volumes in the nearest future.
“This year, it is going to be very gloomy. We have a downward turn of about 30% for cargoes and up to 40 per cent for general cargoes. The first quarter and second quarter in 2023 will see lower importation until after the elections. Naira devaluation is also a major issue with N800/$ in the parallel market. Nigeria is a cash-based economy and right now there isn’t enough cash.”
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