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Nigeria’s cargo delivery challenges top discussion at Norwegian fish conference

As FG direct perishable cargo to Ikorodu terminal

By Godwin Oritse reporting from Norway

The inefficient cargo delivery services occasioned by poor clearing process and bad roads in the Nigerian port vicinity formed a major part of discussions at the just ended stockfish conference in Lofoten, Norway as Norwegian fish exporters were told to consider these shortcomings in dealing with Nigerian importers.

Maritime

Speaking at the conference, the Director, Norwegian Seafood Council, NSC, in charge of West and Central Africa, Mr Trond Kostveit, said that it takes between two and three months to get perishable cargoes out of the ports in Lagos.

Kostveit explained to the Norwegian fish exporters that the bad roads leading to the ports were part of the reasons for the delay currently being experienced in cargo delivery in Nigeria.

Recall that the council had met with the management of the Tin-Can command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, last year with a view to fast track the clearance of fish and other perishable cargoes.

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He noted that because of the chaotic situation in ports in Lagos, the cost of stockfish has gone beyond the reach of the poor. “Although there has been a slight improvement in the movement of vehicles within the area, the improvement has not impacted the cargo delivery process. The situation will remain if measures were not taken to correct the anomaly in the Lagos ports,” he stated.

Similarly, Mrs Abiodun Cheke, a fishery consultant, said that the involvement of exporters from Iceland has further compounded the problems of Nigerian importers who have no choice than to buy from Iceland where the products are handled before it gets to hands of Nigerians.

Cheke said “When Norwegian fish exporters sell to importers from Iceland before they, in turn, sell to Nigerians, the product loses quality before it gets to Nigeria. When blames are being apportioned, it is the Norwegian exporters that should get more blame because the label of origin still carries Norway.

“When these spoilt fish products get to Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs and other stakeholders blame the Norwegians not knowing the movement of the cargoes before they arrived in Nigeria. You need to check this end of your business before it becomes too embarrassing because the country of supply is Norway and not Iceland.

“The Iceland connection is beginning to create problems for Nigerians and Nigeria because when the cargoes arrive in Nigeria is not too healthy state, they are destroyed. The country of supply matters to us please help us to ensure that only healthy fish fit for human consumption are exported to Nigeria.”

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