FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, decried the excessive local shipping charges and cumbersome clearing of goods at the nation’s ports despite the concessioning of the ports, saying this development has militated against trade facilitation.
Speaking at the 3rd edition of the Nigerian Maritime Exhibition and Conference tagged NIMAREX 2013, Obasanjo noted that stakeholders must institute measures that would bring about trade facilitation with a view to reducing time and cost.
He contended that no nation could afford non-performing maritime industry if it wanted its economy to experience growth.
Obasanjo, who recounted the events that led to the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line, NNSL, explained that the recognition of the importance of the maritime industry to the development of the economy led to the establishment of the shipping line.
According to him, his government at that time recognized the essential role of shipping in the development and operation of a maritime industry capable of conserving foreign exchange and a major foreign exchange earner for the country.