Over time, seaports have emerged as a major gateway to economic development of any nation. The United Nation Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2009 reported that “about 90% of the world’s trade is carried out via the sea.” For instance, in 2011, ports contribute 1.9, 1.3, 2.1 and 0.05% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore and Nigeria respectively.
Over the years, illegal use of jetties had become one of the numerous avenues through which the nation’s economy is bled dry. Apart from the estimated N45trillion being lost annually in freight or shipping costs, the nation is believed to be losing trillions of naira annually to illegal jetty operations.
Lately, the airfare disparity on the Lagos – London and Accra – London route has come under severe scrutiny. The Ministry of Aviation had given the affected airlines, mainly British Airways and Virgin Atlantic a 30-day ultimatum to close the fare gap or be banned. The Executive and Legislative arms of government have also thrown their weight behind this decision.
Picking up your boss from the airport next week? Or is the new client for that multi-million naira contract? Perhaps you cannot afford the ultimate machine just yet and the spray job was nice but it still did not ‘hit the spot’.
The answer lies in the car interior. That is where you spend most of your driving experience and that is where you can really score points with your boss or new client. Besides, a new car could just as well have a boring interior anyway.
With the port reforms and concession of its operations to private terminal operators, one had expected that the age-long illegal exit of containers from the ports would be a thing of the past.
The practice known in industry parlance as ‘container flying’ is still very much around at the ports even when most of the ills that plagued the nation’s ports in the past are gradually giving way.