By Tanko Mohammed
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to address bottlenecks encountered in accessing the nation’s ports.
The Director of Economics and Statistics of MAN, Dr Oluwasegun Osidipe, made the appeal on Tuesday in Ota, Ogun.
He said that the persistent gridlock in accessing the country’s port facilities and perennial congestion had remained recurring decimals, leading to delay in the clearance of manufacturing inputs and machineries.
Osidipe said that it also led to demurrage and increase in the cost of production in the sector.
“There is the need to see that cargoes containing manufacturing raw materials are cleared swiftly and ensure compliance with additional free days from the terminal shipping lines to clear the containers to avoid demurrage,” he said.
Osidipe urged the Federal Government to direct Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Port Authority and other related agencies to treat all requests of manufacturers expeditiously, understanding the prevailing situation.
He also called on the government to fast track the provision of critical infrastructure, especially stable power supply, accessible road networks and functional rail networks to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturers.
Osidipe appealed for a reversal of the Value Added Tax (VAT) increase and reduction in the Personal Income Tax to a flat rate of 10% for one year, effective April 2020.
These, he said, would improve the disposable income of Nigerian workers, stimulate consumption, promote an upsurge in demand and increase production output.