Minister of Transport wants to tackle container deposits and high dwell times for freight

Minister of State for Transport Senator Gbemisola Saraki said on Wednesday she would put in place procedures to ensure shipping companies promptly refund container deposits paid by importers and agents.

During an interactive meeting with maritime stakeholders, including terminal operators, shipping companies, freight forwarders and others, in Lagos, Saraki frowned at the high cost of doing business in the country’s seaports and vowed to reverse the trend.

She said she will work with other stakeholders to reduce the time cargo spends in port, while ensuring sustained communication and engagement with stakeholders to make ports more productive.

“The maritime industry is an important engine room in our national economy and as such we need to ensure that the infrastructure is adequate and that there is synergy across sectors, while providing access for all of our stakeholders.

“And communication is the first step to solving any business problem. That’s why we’re here to talk to our stakeholders. This town hall meeting will hopefully close any communication gaps and take the sector to higher altitudes.

“The enterprise architecture we plan to implement will ensure communications are dynamic, not stagnant, and integrate with the ministry’s plan. At the Federal Ministry of Transport, we value all of our stakeholders as partners in governance and business,” said Saraki.

Stakeholders commended Saraki for convening the meeting and pledged her full cooperation to reposition the maritime industry for greater productivity.

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