Abiola Seun |
A Maritime lawyer and financial expert, Prof. Olisa Agbakoba yesterday said Nigeria is losing N20 trillion yearly due to absence of trade facilitation at the nation’s sea and airports.
Agbakoba, who disclosed this in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the need for the country to develop new revenue sources, said after the oil sector, the maritime industry is the second-largest contributor of revenue.
He however argued that the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (STGI) of the federal government is very timely as Nigeria is faced with an unprecedented revenue loss and challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash in oil price.
According to him, the first step to enhancing trade facilitation is for government to resuscitate the national shipping and airlines.
His words, “the area that can also generate substantial income has to do with trade facilitation. Trade is Nigeria’s second-largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but it is shocking that Nigeria lacks the critical and essential tools of trade facilitation which are vessels and airlines.
Agbakoba, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), further stated that many opportunities abound in the service sector as N20billion is lost daily at Nigerian seaports.
“The maritime industry is the second-largest contributor of revenue other than oil. One area of great interest that can generate revenue is the Apapa port city. A recent report by a Dutch consultancy firm, Dynanmar shows that Nigeria loses N20 billion daily at the ports, which is 7.2 trillion yearly.
“For instance, a recent report by a Dutch consultancy firm, Dynanmar shows that Nigeria loses N20 billion daily at the ports, which is 7.2 trillion yearly.
“Looking at all these areas and without any serious study, it shows that we are almost at N100 trillion. But with concerted deep study, it is possible to hit the N100 trillion mark. Government should explore new sources of revenue to close the budget deficit and grow the economy by enacting the Strategic Revenue Growth and Recovery Act
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