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Port concessionaires bemoan effect of policy somersault on operations

 The Seaports Terminal Operators Association of
Nigeria (STOAN) on Tuesday said that some of their operations in 2014 slowed
down due to changes in some government policies.

The Spokesman of the association, Mr Bolaji Akinola, stated
this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said terminal operators faced several challenges as
a result of the change in some policies which did not consider the concession
agreement and their business projections.
“The issue of port operation last year; we got a lot
of surprises and you know naturally, businesses don’t like uncertainties.

“Businesses are more comfortable when there is
certainty, stability within the system, especially in terms of government

“Terminal operations faced challenging time last
year, and don’t forget we have a concession agreement that was signed and
predicated on certain assumptions; and projections and forecasts.

“So, when policies now come in half way into concession
agreement, it upsets a lot of things and that is what we saw happen all of last
year,” Akinola said.
Akinola said the changes in policy truncated
operations of some terminals that were handling bulk cargo like rice and fish.

He said the Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO) operations were
also affected by the new automotive policy, which he said was significantly
aimed at reducing the volume of vehicles imported into Nigeria.

Akinola, however, said that terminal operators had
strong faith and confidence in the Nigerian economy despite the setbacks, “and
believe that policies will get more stable with time and
the nation’s economy will continue to grow’’.

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