Maritime Operators Express Concern Over 60% Decline in Trade Volume

The Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Remi Ogungbemi, yesterday said trade volume at the nation’s ports had declined by 60 per cent.

Ogungbemi, who made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, expressed concern about low business at the ports

He said that the increase in the exchange rate had reduced importation of goods, adding that this had consequently affected the haulage business.

Ogungbemi said that the situation had rendered truck owners redundant.

``The forex rate of N310 to a dollar is killing businesses at the ports. The trade volume has reduced by 60 per cent.

``We are service providers in a chain that aids trade. We cannot on our own conduct businesses without importation,’’ Ogungbemi said.

He said that at peak period, the ports were full of transactions which kept the truck owners busy.

Ogungbemi , however, said that all factors responsible for traffic gridlock were still unattended to.

He said that a huge number of persons were directly or indirectly affected by the prevailing situation.

The truck owner urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate the ports access roads to reduce unemployment.