A coalition of associations representing traders in the South-east geo-political zone, under the aegis of South-east Amalgamated Traders Association (SEAMATA) has canvassed for the appointment of a presidential adviser on the informal sector.
The traders applauded the Federal Government's strides in reforming the nation's sea ports, and particularly lauded the significant reduction in clearance time for certain categories of cargo, occasioned by the reforms across the nation’s sea ports.
Speaking when he led a delegation of the association on a courtesy visit to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Abuja, Friday, the group’s President, Chief Okwudili Ezenwa declared that the coalition was very pleased with the performance of the Jonathan administration in many areas.
Ezenwa stated that Jonathan had amply justified the support, which his group gave him during the 2011 elections.
Appointing a presidential aide on the informal sector, he argued, would underscore the administration’s commitment to improving the contributions of the private sector to economic development in a structured way.
Other members of the group, who spoke during the interaction, however, said that physical examination of cargo by the Nigeria Customs Service still took too much time as opposed to scanning of goods.
The group condemned what they described as constant harassment by law enforcement officials, especially on roads in the South-east, saying that it was unprecedented in this area.
They also requested the government’s help in obtaining visas for genuine business trips, while pledging their willingness to work with the government as a body to fish out applicants, who falsely claim they were on business trips to Europe and Asia but go there for other wrong reasons.
Responding, Okonjo-Iweala thanked them for their support for the Jonathan administration, and promised to send their requests to appropriate quarters.