Senate To Investigate Threats To Air Freights Over Illegal Charges

Senate To Investigate Threats To Air Freights Over Illegal Charges

Cyril Ogar

The Senate has resolved to investigate the delay frustrating air freighting of cargoes occasioned by extortion’s and multiple charges at the airports which is aimed at stopping processing delay and illegal charges on cargo transport by freight agents in Nigeria.

The decision to end multiple charges on cargo processing and transport was reached by the upper chamber in a resolution following consideration of a motion during plenary on Wednesday.

This was sequel to the consideration of a motion titled, “The need to streamline Import and Export Cargo Processing in the Aviation Sector”, sponsored by Senator Bala ibn Na’Allah ( Kebbi South).

The Senate, accordingly, mandated the joint committees on Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Aviation and Customs to summon stakeholders and freight agents to come up with an acceptable template of processing Nigeria’s imports and exports.

Rising under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Na’Allah noted with dismay the loss of about N250bn on agro-export of produce in the country.

The lawmaker said the loss which translated to a ratio of 87:13 continued to impact negatively on the country’s economy.

Na’Allah noted that there were about 16 sundry charges for goods coming in or out of the country – with 16 in Lagos and 15 in Abuja – and many of them being unofficial and illegal.

He lamented that loading 100 tonnes of cargo on aircraft cost around $35,000 in Nigeria, compared to Ghana that cost just about $4000.

He said: “This has caused substantial damage to the Federal Government’s efforts of stimulating capital inflow.”

He added that airlines involved in cargo transport had started avoiding Nigeria in view of the prohibitive charges.

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