As the effect of the high exchange rate bites harder, truckers operating in the nation’s maritime sector have lamented the reduction in activities at the ports.

The truckers, who spoke exclusively with The PUNCH in Lagos on Monday, said so far, the numerous challenges at the nation’s maritime sector had led to at least a 70 per cent drop in cargo movements at the ports.

A member of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Abdullahi Inuwa, explained that aside the issues of forex, the sector was yet to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

“You know the effects of Covid-19 are still being felt. You know the business is all about demand and supply. If the demands is high and supply is also high, then, definitely, there will be rush by customers who need their consignments out of the ports. But when there is a drop, and there are fewer consignments, it won’t work well. So, to me, the activities of truckers at the ports have dropped. And as a result of that, it has reduced the freight rate. The freight rate has dropped between 65-70per cent drop. Aside the Covid-19, another major cause of this is the high rate of dollar to naira. These are major contributors to the drop in cargo at Nigerian ports.”

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Inuwa said that importers were now finding it difficult to bring consignments into the country due to the fear of inconsistent government policies.

Also speaking, General Secretary, Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria, Yakubu Kolawole, said that lots of truckers were leaving the work for other business.

If you don’t have any tangible thing to do at the port, there is no reason to be there.”

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