By Franklin Alli
The Nigerian Association of chambers of commerce, Â Â Â Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said it welcomed the establishment of the Infrastructure Concession Development Commission.
NACCIMA President, Dr. Simon Okolo, in a statement, Tuesday, said, that vision 20: 2020 initiated by the Federal Government will not be feasible without infrastructure development, and urged that the Commission should be given a free hand to carry out its mandate with vigour and dedication required tom discharge its mandates.
He said that the Infrastructure Concession Development Commission should compel Nigeria Customs Service and ports concessionaires to ensure that the approved use, of Bonded Inland Terminals or Dry ports are properly equipped with the required cargo handling equipment and haulage trucks to drastically reduce the current ports congestion.
NACCIMA, he stated, would want government to also put in place the necessary legislation on port concessioning to effectively guide private sector operators.
Okolo made it clear that the huge cost of rehabilitating federal roads, no doubt calls for joint efforts between the public and private sectors to begin work immediately through public-private-partnership (PPP).
He also called for regular monitoring of the ports concessioning to help reduce ports congestion that have continued to persist as it still takes a minimum of 25 days to clear goods at the ports contrary to not more than 7 days clearance period in neighbouring countries like Togo and Benin Republic. â€œImporters are still subjected to payments for huge amounts of demurrage; high port charges; as well as accumulation of bank charges on loans advanced for the purpose of importation,â€ he said.
He condemned government policy inconsistency because they undermine the development of the industrial sector and especially the attraction of the much needed foreign direct investment into the country.
â€œThe ones that comes to mind immediately include the reversal of the sale of Kaduna and Port Harcourt Refineries, Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd, the NITEL, revocation of the contract signed with Chinese Government for the resuscitationÂ of the railway system in the country as well as the lifting of import ban on vegetable oil thus paralyzing the local oilÂ seed cake market which is vital for the feed-milling sectorâ€ Governmentâ€™s policy inconsistency has often led to several investments being abandoned by local and foreign investors, he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Infrastructure Concession Development Commission was recently established by the Federal Government, and it is headed by the former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan.