Chairman of the Nigerian Port Consultative Forum, NPCF, Otumba Kunle Folarin, has said that the nation’s formal import has hit over $15 billion annually, even as he disclosed that the country imports over 100,000 metric tons of non oil cargo yearly.
Speaking at the 3rd Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime Conference put together by the Maritime Forum of the University of Lagos in conjunction with the Sifax Group, Folarin said from available statistics, Nigeria imports approximately two million units of containers a year.
Folarin who spoke on the theme “Port Cost and Port Charges a Recurring Decimal under Port Reforms Regime,” explained that the above figures are from the formal trade alone and would be bigger if the informal trade aspects of cargo movements are considered.
He also pointed out that the ship traffic into Nigeria by latest data exceeds 5,307 per annum and that the country controls at least 70 percent of the economy of the West African region.
The NPCF helmsman further noted that with the size and scope of the Nigerian maritime sector, it demands close attention due to its value in the political, economic and social structure of the nation.
He noted that the issues at stake are the prime indicators of the critical factors that propel the growth and dynamics of Nigeria as a developing economy and the largest regional power in West and Central Africa.
In his words, “In actual fact, Nigeria husband at least 70 percent of the political economy of the region. By recent statistics, Nigeria imports over 100,000 metric tons of non-oil cargo and approximately two million units of containers a year.
“These figures are from the formal trade alone and will certainly be bigger if we consider the informal trade aspects of cargo movements. Ships traffic into Nigeria by latest data exceeds 5,307 per annum.
“The current aggregate exceeds $15,000,000,000 a year through formal import order.
“It is therefore settled that the maritime sector performance is indeed a major contributor to the economy and therefore must be given attention on any discussion on port cost and port charges,” he noted.