Why bonded terminals need good road network to thrive –Mbisiogu

(Last Updated On: January 18, 2023)By Steve Agbota
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Blue Diamond Group, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, has said that government must construct good road network and create conducive environment for bonded terminals to thrive in the country.
Mbisiogu who disclosed this in an interview with Daily Sun in his Lagos office recently, said that if government wants more employment and a vibrant economy, especially from bonded terminal operators, they should make these roads smoother so that truckers can access them easily. 
According to him, if the roads linking the bonded terminals were made smoother, it would decongest the ports, and achieve a seamless cargo distribution and evacuation system.
“What we are saying is that government should create conducive environment for business to thrive; if they want more employment and a vibrant economy, they should make these roads smoother so that truckers can access them easily. It will also help to fast-track the nation’s economy and put it on the global map. 
“If you have the capacity to lift between 100 and 200 containers from the port to your bonded terminal when there are good roads, you may end up lifting just about 20 in a day when the roads are bad because of the time that is wasted on bad roads. This is why we said government should fix the roads to enhance cargo delivery system,” he added.
Speaking on expansion of his company, he said Blue Diamond was going into the bonded terminal, saying the essence is to complement the government’s efforts in decongesting the nation’s ports. 
However, he debunked the allegations that terminal operators do not invest in equipment and often resort to subletting jobs to foreigners.
“Before you own a bonded terminal, the Customs will come for an inspection. I don’t think that the allegations are true. The question is, why are some of them closing down? The reason could be that some of them don’t have containers or enough containers are not being allocated to them, many people don’t take their containers there or shipping agencies don’t accept their assigned containers. That is one of the problems I know bonded terminals are facing. 
“In terms of equipment, if your bonded terminal is not well-equipped, you will not be given a license. That is the truth. Another problem I know bonded terminals are facing is that when they don’t have enough containers to keep bonded terminals going, it will be difficult for bonded terminal owners to break even or make a profit. That is what I must tell you. But to say that they bring in foreigners to handle it, I don’t think that is true because it is regulated by the Customs. 
“And the essence of this bonded terminal, if I may say, is to help decongest the Apapa port. We have really contributed a lot because if not for bonded terminals there wouldn’t have been any space at the ports. That is why we are calling on government to help. Another thing that is frustrating the owners of these bonded terminals is accessibility. Accessing these bonded terminals is very difficult. The roads are in bad shape. I don’t think foreigners are taking over bonded terminals. And have it at the back of your mind that you cannot run a bonded terminal without meeting Customs requirements. It will not be approved because they are serious about it,” he explained.
The post Why bonded terminals need good road network to thrive –Mbisiogu appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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