Nigeria loses N20trn to absence of trade facilitation at seaports, airports annually

Nigeria loses N20trn to absence of trade facilitation at seaports, airports annually

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.

“So, legislation is proposed to introduce the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and Air Nigeria. If our local content policy and laws are implemented in terms of trade facilitation, Nigeria can generate over N20 trillion and 10 million jobs in 5 years,” he said in the letter to the president.

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.

On our coming webinar, we are reviewing the Maritime Industry which is the second-largest contributor of revenue other than oil. One area of great interest that can generate revenue is the Apapa port city.
“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.
The third area concerns land administration. A recent study shows that the housing inventory of Nigerian property probably exceeds $ 7 trillion but most of this is dead capital that cannot be used as collateral for financial transactions because they are not properly titled. Creating an efficient titling system by introducing a Land Use Administration Act will release a lot of revenue into the system.  If it is properly done, estimates suggest it can generate N30 trillion over 5 years”
He however stated that if the areas mentioned are looked into, the nation can generate N100 trillion revenue that would be effectively used to grow the economy by enacting the Strategic Revenue Growth and Recovery Act

“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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