mporters and clearing agents have urged the Federal Government to review port tariff and make the ports attractive for business.
They said the ports may witness low volume of imports this year, if the government did not act fast.
The operators, who spoke with The Nation, said the review had become necessary to eliminate arbitrariness and ensure parity with other ports, particularly those of neighbouring countries.
ShippersAssociation of Lagos President, Mr Jonathan Nichol, said port tariff were not commensurate with the services rendered by terminal operators and they make the ports uncompetitive.
He said the operators needed to emulate the Nigerian Shippers?Council that has abolished service charges, bank charge, commission on turnover and concessionaires? service charge to reduce the cost of doing business at the ports.
Also, Folas Motors Managing Director, Chief Fola Alakija, said the council had been implementing the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) project on Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) to bring shipping to the door of importers.
He said despite the claim by the government that it has reduced its agencies at the ports, some are still posing big challenges to port operations.
The importer said there was the need to revive and modernise the railway as a primary mode for long distance haulage of cargo and to free the Lagos ports road.
According to him, the railway will also reduce the cost of transporting cargo in and out of the ports and create employment.
Chief Alakija said there was the need to embrace a single window operation to eliminate human contact and the use of discretion, which has been identified as the biggest obstacle to quick cargo clearance from the port.
He said the single window operation would not only facilitate trade, but also eliminate fraud and improve revenue generation.