Forex Scarcity: Port Terminal Operators Lament Low Cargo Volumes – Thisday

Private terminal operators, otherwise known as concessionaires, operating at the nation’s seaports are facing difficulties in their operations as the cargo volumes they handle continue to decline.

The hardship is compounded by the inability of most of them to procure dollars to meet their business obligations.

The story is the same for a good number of the operators across the six major seaports in the country.

At the port and cargo terminal at the Tin Can Island Port Complex in Lagos, container throughput was said to have dropped by 10% while general cargo volume diminished by 50% in the first half of the year, compare to the corresponding period of 2015.

Nigeria’s local currency, the naira, has depreciated by about 90% in the last 18 months.

Managing Director of Sifax Group – owners of Port & Cargo, John Jenkins, attributed the huge drop in cargo volume at the port to the scarcity of foreign exchange.

“The inability of the government to generate the required foreign exchange to oil the wheel of the economy posed a great challenge,” Jenkins said.

He said apart from the inability of importers to source foreign exchange to import cargo, “power is also a big challenge” at the port.