Nigeria loses N1 trillion to cargo diversion yearly, says Nicol

 

Jonathan Nicol

The Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS) says Nigeria loses N1 trillion annually through cargo diversion to ports in neighbouring countries as a result of bad access roads to Lagos ports.

SALS President, Jonathan Nicol, made the disclosure to newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said that the losses arose from import duties and other charges not paid to Nigerian ports.

According to Nicol, there is massive diversion of Nigeria-bound cargo to ports in neighbouring countries due to bad access roads to Lagos ports.

“There are also queue of vessels within the Lome waters awaiting call-up for berthing in Lagos ports.

Nicol called on the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the access roads to Apapa port to expedite action to reduce problems encountered by shippers and truck owners.

“Industrialists are incurring huge expenses on haulage due to lack of access roads and they are counting more losses daily.

He, however, commended Dangote Group, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for their assistance in rehabilitating access roads to Apapa ports.

“It should be noted that they (Dangote and Flour Mills) are industrialists going the extra mile to keep the maritime industry afloat,’’Nicol said.

He said that the export initiative of the Federal Government was also under threat as export goods spent several days before arriving at the ports.

The SALS President, however, said that the association would not subscribe to the idea of moving containers released at the ports to Papalanto in Ogun.

“The cost of moving such boxes (containers) to factories in Lagos and other places will be too high.

“Cargo taken to Papalanto will be treated as up-country cargo and will attract high haulage fees,’’ Nicol said.

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