The Freight Forwarders Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) has called for a change in Nigeria’s Import Trade Act from Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) to Free on Board (FOB).
Las Alli Shobande, deputy chairman of the group, said recently that this would draw more shipping lines to establish in Nigeria as freight rates would no longer be paid abroad but in Nigeria when the cargo arrives.
According to him, it is the usual practice in advanced countries, adding that if the federal government changes the trade policy, importers would only pay for cost of the goods abroad while freight rates would still remain in Nigeria and would be paid in Naira.
“We want government to look into our Import Trade Act because if goods are brought on FOB, and we start paying for our Letters of Credit on FOB basis, shipping lines would come to Nigeria,” he said.
He said the present arrangement forces Nigerians to pay much because it is the suppliers that negotiate the freight rates for Nigerian importers. “If we hold the freight back, we will create business here in Nigeria because freight companies would be forced to talk to local companies in Nigeria.”