New Forex Regime: Ports & Cargo predicts throughput increase

New Forex Regime: Ports & Cargo predicts throughput increase

The Acting Managing Director, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd., Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu, on Thursday said that the new flexible foreign exchange (forex) regime would result in steady growth of cargo throughput (imports and exports).

This is contained in a statement by the Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX GROUP, Mr Muyiwa Akande, on Thursday in Lagos.

Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd., is a subsidiary of SIFAX Group.

According to Bulangu, the new forex policy now allows commercial banks to transfer foreign currency in customers’ domiciliary accounts to their local and international business partners subject to a daily cumulative limit of 10,000 dollars.

He reviewed the impact that the new policy would have on the nation’s maritime industry.

The managing director said that it signified a new dawn for both port terminal operators and their clients, particularly importers, who had experienced a great deal of difficulties in sourcing foreign exchange for their business transactions.

He described the new forex policy by the Federal Government as a welcome development.

“ Prior to this, importers found it difficult to get dollars to do their businesses and this greatly affected almost all the stakeholders in the industry, especially the port operators.

“ There was a sharp decline in throughput and as a consequence, loss of revenue.

“I can tell you that within these few weeks of the new forex policy, the signs are already there that the sector would gain tremendously.

“More activities are now returning to the terminals, which is a good sign for us as operators and the country’s economy as a whole.’’

He noted that the outlook for the sector in the second half of the year “is very positive’’.

According to him, with the expected surge in throughput and increased revenue, the sector is well positioned to contribute substantially to the nation’s economy.

He added that the maritime sector had the potentials to be one of the mainstays of the Nigerian economy.

“ Like the Minister of Transportation said recently, the sector should be providing about a quarter of the nation’s annual budget.

“I believe it is achievable and the new forex policy is a step toward achieving this,’’ Bulangu said.

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