The Shippers Association, Lagos State, said on Monday that 10,000 indigenous freight forwarders might lose their jobs as some foreign shipping lines had taken over freight forwarding business.
The president of the association, Jonathan Nicol, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said the issue of dominance of Nigerian freight forwarding business came up in 2015 and was resisted by freight forwarders.
“We feel that freight forwarders are an integral part of our business and we provide jobs for them regularly.
“They are licensed by Nigeria Customs Service yearly and if foreign shipping lines will want to take their jobs, I think it should be resisted,” the shipper told NAN.
He said the foreigners had taken over almost all the processing of cargo clearance at the ports, leaving their Nigerian counterparts idle.
Mr. Nicol said the foreign shipping lines could not go to Cotonou, Republic of Benin, and attempt to take freight forwarding job from the citizens.
According to him, if they try such in Republic of Benin, they would be chased away.
“I believe that freight forwarding in Nigeria should be an exclusive business to Nigerians as it is done in the Republic of Benin,”
He said it was sad that some Nigerians serve as “fronts” to the foreign shipping lines.
Mr. Nicol urged freight forwarders to come together and fight the foreign firms, making inroad into the system.
He advised that the Federal Government should exhume the Indigenisation Policy to protect Nigerians from “imminent massive job loss” in freight forwarding business and the port industry as a whole.
Mr. Nicol suggested that the government should immediately commence investigation and institute sanctions against foreigners taking over freight forwarding business from Nigerians.