The Onitsha Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONCIMMA) has called on the 9th Senate to make laws that would enhance the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in Nigeria for fast economic growth.
The Chairman of ONCIMMA, Mr Don Ebubeogu, made the call in an interview with source on Tuesday in Awka, South-East Nigeria.
The 9th Senate was inaugurated on Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan as President and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as Vice-President.
Ebubeogu said though the Federal Government through the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has been working to evolve better business environment, there was need to make pieces of legislation for its sustainability.
The Chambers Chairman identified poor maritime, multiple tax, internal custom checks and inefficient transport system as some of the challenges.
“Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has been championing the Ease of Doing Business mantra, but it lacks sustainability and bite, so, I call on the Senate to look at those proposal and make laws to back them up,” he said.
He called for the development of the nation’s ports across the country to reduce congestion in Lagos Ports and boost the import/exports sector.
The industrialist said that rather than develop more ports in Lagos, the Federal Government should work on Onne, Calabar and Warri ports to ease movement of goods in and out of the country as well as circulation within the country.
According to him, the high landing cost of goods in Lagos ports and dumurage occasioned by delay in clearing and evacuation was contributing hugely to inflation.
He noted that the situation in Lagos ports has become unattractive that importers now prefer Republic of Benin and other neighbouring countries’ ports because of their cost effectiveness.
The ONCIMMA President said Customs officials should be restricted at the borders as their internal operations impede the flow and transportation of goods.
“Building another port in Lagos is just postponing the evil day, the concentration of ports in Lagos is simply killing our nation’s economy, the government should just make sincere efforts to develop the ports in Onne, Uyo, Calabar, Warri and others to decentralise economic activities.
“The implication is that the cost of these inconvenience is transferred to end users and that is higher cost of goods,” he said.
The ONCIMMA Chairman said there must be a legal template for Trade and Commerce and economic transformation of the country.
Amaka E. Nliam