By Adedapo Adesanya
The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) has bitterly complained that shippers in Nigeria lost close to N15 trillion in revenue in three months due to restrictions and complications placed on trade due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SALS President, Mr Jonathan Nicole, lamented that after the virus hit major trade partners, it proved difficult for shippers to transact business during the global COVID-19 lockdown.
According to the SALS President, “What shippers could have probably done in two days; it took them about one or two weeks because shippers are now dealing with individuals at different stages of COVID-19 pandemic globally.
“We lost N5 trillion in two weeks. You compute it for two weeks, it is not a joke, it is huge. The more you think about it, the more you get very upset because the losses are enormous.
“It shouldn’t be more than N15 trillion that we lost because of Nigeria’s vast maritime potential. We are talking of Port Hacourt, Lagos, Kano and all the major ports that went to sleep due to COVID-19”.
He lamented that shippers’ income for the month of January, February, March and April has been very horrible, leading to some SALS members to downsize their workers because they could no longer cope.
“You know salary has to be regular whether you work or not. At the end of the month, you have to pay employees.
“Therefore, due to the economic situation, some of our members who can no longer cope had to downsize,” Mr Nicole said.
He noted that the shipping industry will be under duress for the next couple of months, adding that it was necessary for government intervention.
“It is going to be tough for Nigeria in the next few months. You know we are very resilient people, however, this is the time we need government’s support,” Mr Nicole added.
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