By Naomi Uzor
The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce of Commerce (NBCC) has said that the presence of the National Environmental Standards Enforcement Agency (NESREA) at the nationâ€™s ports is counter-productive as it has added to the ordealsÂ clearingÂ goods at the ports.
Speaking at the 32nd annual meeting andÂ the 2009 report and financial statementsof the NBCC, the President and Chairman of council of NBCC, Mr Akinola Akintunde said the chamber commends the NESREA and other security agencies for their timely action in arresting the container vessel containing toxic substances that was shipped from Rotterdam port in Holland to Nigeria, but said that the NESREAâ€™s presence is not necessary at the ports.
â€œSome analysts have argued that some toxic substances may have gotten into the country especially with Nigerians penchant for second hand goods which life span may have expired. “Despite the argument, I donâ€™t think it is necessary for us to have NESREA at the ports to add to the agony of port-users clearing their goods, what is needed to stem the tide of flow of prohibited goods into the country is good intelligence network as exhibited during the arrest of MV Nashville,â€ he stated.
He said the impact of the reform in the banking sector on the real sector has been grievous with many businesses closing down due to lack of working capital, noting that the CBN in response had injected N620 billion into the ailing ameliorate the crisis in banks in order to mitigate the impact on the reform but it is however too early to measure the impact of the CBN response.
â€œThe recent developments in this sector has led to crisis of confidence in the system, banks are no longer lending, credit lines are being cancelled or rejected, the retrenchment of wellÂ trained staff in the banking sector has become the order of the day and has exacerbated the unemployment rate in the country,â€ he lamented.
On the issue of power, he said, it is true that the 6000mw target set for the end of 2009 by the federal government was not met.
â€œFor the government to turn around the economy, power supply in the country remains fundamental and needs to be realised as of priority, there may not be a rapid improvement in power supply until the Niger-Delta challenge is reasonably sorted out. This is because greater parts of power production especially by IPPs rely on gas supply from the Niger Delta,â€ he said.