Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu, Acting Managing Director, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, has said the new flexible foreign exchange (forex) regime recently adopted by the government would result in a steady growth in the maritime sector.
The new forex policy now allows commercial banks transfer foreign currency in customers’ domiciliary accounts to their local and international business partners subject to a daily cumulative limit of $10,000.
Bulangu, while reviewing the impact that the new policy would have on the country’s maritime industry, noted that it signifies a new dawn for both the port terminal operators and their clients, particularly importers, who had experienced a great deal of difficulties in sourcing foreign exchange for their business transactions.
He said: “The new forex policy by the Federal Government is a welcome development. Prior to this, importers found it difficult to get dollars to do their businesses and this greatly affected almost all the stakeholders in the industry, especially the port operators as there was a sharp decline in throughput and as a consequence, loss of revenue.
“I can tell you that within these few weeks of this new forex policy, the signs are already there that the sector would gain tremendously. More activities are now returning to the terminal, which is a good sign for us as operators and the country’s economy as a whole.”
Bulangu further noted that the outlook for the sector in the second half of the year is very positive, adding that with the expected surge in throughput volume and increase revenue, the sector is well positioned to contribute substantially to the country’s economy.
“The maritime sector has the potentials to be one of the mainstays of the Nigerian economy. Like the Minister of Transportation said recently, the sector should be providing about a quarter of the nation’s annual budget. I believe it is achievable and the new forex policy is a step towards achieving this,” he said.