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COVERNEWSLETTERSHIPPING & PORT SERVICES

Port Delays Slow Nigeria’s Economic Growth By $14.2 Billion

Nigeria's Export Exceeded Import By N1.8tn in Q2

Slow cargo delivery, delays, cargo diversions and high demurrage charges at the seaports have cut Nigeria’s economic growth by $14.2 billion, based on estimation by the African Centre for Supply Chain(ACSC).

The group said these port challenges lead to loss of revenue by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The ACSC Practitioners, in a communique issue at its maiden supply chain round table, noted that the congestion was common in several ports and container terminals around world.

Addressing the theme ‘Port Congestion: ‘Implications for Nigeria’s Competitiveness,’ the group said that financial cost of accumulated delays of trucks had constituted about 40 per cent of the total cost borne at the port.

In particular, the experts said the ENDSARS protest of October 20, 2020, led to backlog of trucks and import laden containers at the Tincan port.

They noted that the problems had made the cost of moving one 20 Foot Equivalent Unit of container from Tincan Port to Mile-2 by truck to skyrocket to N1.5million.

READ ALSO: NPA Lists Parks For Lagos Ports Trucks

The group identified other challenges at the port to include: indiscipline among truckers, weak technology application, non-implementation of 24-hour port operations, manual cargo examination by Customs and low-capacity utilisation by terminals.

Others are congestion emanating from public holidays, short working hours, congestion of trucks within the port and cargo congestion at terminal due to trade imbalance.

 According to the group, congestion of cargoes at storage yards and sheds, vessel congestion resulting from inadequate port facilities, too many customs desk and 100 per cent physical examination of goods as against international best practice, lack of scanners, corrupt officials, dishonest importers, clearing agents and corrupt port and security officials are other impediments.

They stressed that the Lagos logistics ring spanning through Apapa-Iganmu-Orile-Mile 2-Tincan-Apapa had capacity to handle only 2,400 trucks and tankers daily, instead of the 7,000 trucks moving around the ring daily.

READ ALSO: NPA Lists Parks For Lagos Ports Trucks

On the implications of congestion at the port on the economy and business environment, the operators said that the financial cost of accumulated delays was unfair, saying that the port problems were caused by the importers, who bear the brunt of inefficiencies, high shipping and terminal charges, high insurance premium on vessels and cargo rollover.

They stressed that the astronomical increase in transport cost had paralysed industrial activities around Apapa by lowering capacity utilisation and incessant inventory delays.

The group noted that the country had lost its investment appeal in the global community because of poor ease of doing business ranking and loss of economic activities to neighbouring countries.

ACSC noted that it took an average of 10 to 20 days to clear a container from Apapa/Tincan ports and another 20 days to move the container out of the port.

About Author

Ife Ogunfuwa is an award-winning reporter who is versed in reporting business and economy, technology, gadgets reviews, telecoms, tax, and business policy review, among others. She loves telling stories behind the numbers. She has professional certifications in business and financial reporting. You can reach her via – [email protected]

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