The Shippers‘ Association, Lagos State, said 50 per cent of cargoes meant for Nigerian ports were being diverted to Cotonou port as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) forex restriction on some imported items.
Its President, Mr Jonathan Nicol who spoke while speaking in Lagos, said many Nigerian shippers had diverted their cargoes to the ports in the Republic of Benin since the policy started, adding that there were less restrictions on imports in the West African country. Nicol said the development had deprived Nigeria a lot of revenue , urging the Federal Government to ease the policy to boost revenue.
He said: “When the CBN forex restriction policy came into effect, we appealed to the Federal Government to review the policy and remove some critical items because it is hurting our business and the country‘s revenue. The reflection of that restriction is beginning to show up because we are having less cargoes in our ports. Rather than shippers bringing their cargoes to Lagos, they prefer Cotonou and they do their foreign transactions there because Benin Republic does not have such restrictions as we have.