Debts consume terminal operators’ N3trn investment



Despite the huge investment in the port industry, operators of bonded terminals are in bad debts.


It was learnt that some terminals have been closed down because of bad debts and poor infrastructure.


According to the Executive Secretary of the Association of Indigenous Bonded Terminal Operators of Nigeria (AIBTON), Mr Haruna Omolajomo, some members of the association had invested more than N3trillion in the Nigerian port sector.


He explained that the investments include building, equipment and other assets.


Omolajomo said in Lagos that the association had been able to create about 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country, adding that AIBTON had 22 bonded terminals in Lagos alone.


The General Manager of SIFAX Offdock Terminal, Mr Oliver Omajuwa had said in Lagos  that the off dock business in the country was almost dead.


He noted that most off dock terminals had gone under because of failed infrastructure at the port and access roads.


The general manager stressed that the quantities of consignments coming into off dock terminal had been reduced, noting that the essence of setting up the terminals was to ease congestion at the ports.


He lamented that most of the terminals in Lagos had been converted to holding bays for empty containers.

He complained that a container that should take two days now takes between two or three weeks to move within Lagos.


Also, Omolajomo blamed government for not consulting the association before the seaports were concessioned to private terminal operators.


He stressed that government should carry the association along in decision making in the port sector, adding that many of the operators were in financial mess due to lack of business.


He also explained that some of their properties had been confiscated by government because of bad debts.


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