By George Aluo
As the country continues to grapple with the effect of hyperinflation, the Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director of King Shipping Trading Maritime Services Limited, Apapa, Lagos Bob Chukwuma Hyacinth has appealed to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency make a downward review of tariffs on imported goods in order to check the high cost of living in the country.
In an interview with our correspondent, he explained that the rate at which tariffs are imposed on goods is alarming and this has led to more than 100 % increase in goods and services thereby impoverishing average Nigerians.
According to him, the high tariffs is pushing many people out of business thereby creating more crime and unemployment in the country noting if the trend is not checked, it will lead to more economic hardship on the citizens.
“ I’ m really concerned like every other Nigerian on the high tariff imposed on imported goods which has led to increase in prize of goods and services. It kept on increasing on daily basis thereby affecting the purchasing powers of Nigerians. It’s true that the government is doing this to encourage the growth of our local industries but the negative effect has been enormous because right now a lot of families cannot afford the basic necessities of life.
‘ Right now, many importers are out of business and the few that are still around prefer to route their goods through Cotonou and Lome which is relatively cheap thereby improving their economies and that’s why am appealing to government to have a second look at this policy”, he said.
He also noted that there is need for government to make functional ports in Onne, Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar in order to lessen the burden of importers from the Eastern part of the country as well as reduce too much stress on the security agencies.
“ The truth of the matter is that making Onne, Warri and Calabar Ports functional will reduce the congestion at Lagos Ports, enable importers from the East spend less on clearing and transportation of their containers , reduce pressure on our roads as well make work of Custom Officers and other security agents less strenuous’, he concluded.