Lagos: The on-going port reforms and government efforts to make Nigeria the West and Central Africa trade hub may fail if the Federal Government fails to incorporate critical maritime industry players, the Chairman Technical Sub-committee of the Ports Reforms Committee, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said yesterday in Lagos.
Shittu, who is National Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), also said that benchmarking of imports value for purposes of tariff collection by the Customs Service would have been best for the country.
"Contrary to insinuations that the committee set up by the government to reform the ports has gone to sleep, the committee made up of some key stakeholders in the nation's maritime sector has been working tirelessly to transform the port from its current state to a system that works for both port users and operators .
"However, the committee's work may turn out nought if major industry players are not engaged or factored in properly. This is why stakeholders in the industry were carried along by the committee. We are now working with the National Association of Government Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and other associations.
"This is to avoid a situation where key stakeholders would be isolated and therefore barred from contributing their quota, like the situation in the past," Shittu told the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN).