By Godfrey Bivbere
SIFAX Group has faulted plans by the Federal Government to commence implementation of its cargo palletisation policy.
Pallets are plane (flat) structures utilised in cargo container ships for supporting goods or containers. When cargo consignments are piled atop these structures, the process is referred to as palletising.
General Manager, SIFAX Shipping Company Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, Henry Ajoh, who disclosed this in Lagos, urged the Federal Government to reconsider its position on the implementation of the cargo palletisation policy.
The policy, which is an initiative of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business, is part of the new import and export guidelines of the government, which stipulates that all containerised cargoes coming into Nigeria must be palletised.
It is designed to assist officers of Nigeria Customs Service and other relevant government agencies in providing an easy and faster way to physically examine containers being brought into the country.
Ajoh in a statement by Sifax Corporate Affairs Manager, Muyiwa Akande, noted that the government had not adequately engaged the different stakeholders in maritime and aviation sectors before coming up with the policy, hence, the stiff opposition that it had generated.
He said: “The implementation of the cargo palletisation policy will lead to an increase in the cost of shipment and importation charges. These extra charges will be passed on to the end users, who buy the imported goods.
“The manufacturers, who also need to pay more for their imported raw materials, as a result of the policy, will also pass this to the consumers. Ultimately, this policy will lead to an increase in the prices of goods and you know the implication of this for an economy just exiting recession.
“The only way out is to provide modern cargo scanners at the nation’s seaports. The issue of 100 per cent physical cargo examination is outdated and should be jettisoned by the government.”