Posted on October 16, 2023
Findings by the Nigerian Tribune have revealed that some Nigerian port terminals, most especially Roll-On Roll-Off terminals, may be forced into shedding their staff strength due to the drop in volume of import units of vehicles by 60 percent.
Checks by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that some Roll-On Roll-off terminals which used to handle 300,000 units of vehicle imports now barely do 100,000 units due to various reasons which include Naira devaluation, high cost of Customs Duty and cost of petrol.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, the Managing Director of Grimaldi Nigeria, operators of Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd, Mr. Ascanio Russo lamented that the terminal has been forced to streamline its operations due to the sharp drop in volume of Importations.
According to Mr. Russo who manages the affairs of Nigeria’s largest vehicle importation port terminal, “The volume of vehicle Importations has dropped big time.
“I cannot give you precise figure, but I can tell you we are currently in the range of 60 to 70 percent drop in volume of vehicle imports.”
On the reason why vehicle importation into Nigeria has dropped by 60 to 70 percent, the Grimaldi Nigeria boss blamed Naira Devaluation, high cost of petrol and high cost of Customs Duty.
“The reasons behind the drop in vehicle Importations into Nigeria is multiple. The major reason is however tied to the Devaluation of the Naira. This makes it much more expensive to buy vehicles from the US or Europe or from anywhere.
“Then there is the element of the high cost of petrol which of course makes it much more expensive to operate a car.
“Thirdly, there is the Customs Duty that has gone up due to the devaluation of the Naira. Customs is now plying between N750 and N770 for duty calculation on import units of vehicles. The Customs Duty is so expensive more than before when we used to have it at N450.
“So all these things have combined to lead to a sharp drop in the volume of import units of vehicles,” the PTML boss explained.
On how the terminal has been coping to remain in business, Mr. Russo stated, “We have been managing the situation. We have been streamlining our activities. We have been trying to reduce costs to whatever we could. We have been greatly affected by the drop in the number of import units of vehicles coming to Nigeria.”
Also speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, a staff of Five Star Logistics Terminal, Nigeria’s second largest Roll-On, Roll-off port Terminal explained that the terminal has had to streamline and merge some of its activities just to cut costs, thereby leading to some workers being told to go.
“We have had to streamline our activities since import units of vehicles dropped. Some workers have been told to go because we merged some roles just to reduce costs. This might persist if the economic trend does not improve,” the Five Star Logistics Terminal staff told Nigerian Tribune on the condition of anonymity.