Making this disclosure in Lagos, the Second Vice President of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Mauricio Alarcon, said that operational hiccups being experienced at the Port has persisted, even after one year of the Presidential Executive Order to promote transparency and efficiency.
Alarcon said there is an urgent need for policy reform for businesses to operate optimally in the area.
“There is the need to fast-track infrastructural development at the Lagos Port, diversification programme, market-driven foreign exchange management, sustain and a significant reduction in the cost of governance and address the Apapa gridlock.”
The breakdown: According to a survey by the OPS, Nigeria lost about N3.06 trillion on non-oil export and about N2.5 trillion earnings annually across different sectors of the country’s economy.
Why this matters: The Apapa Port Road, which is the artery of the nation’s non-oil economy, has remained in a state of disrepair for a long period of time. This is happening despite experts’ continuous call for action, as well as the fact that Nigeria is losing large amounts of money to the problem. It should also be noted that imports are often trapped in the Ports for days, as a result of traffic gridlock.
Note that Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports handle about 80% of the cargoes that come into Nigeria. Sadly, the condition of the Apapa Road has affected businesses depending on the ports efficient operations.
Just recently, Dangote’s NASCON Allied Industries Plc moved some of its operations away from the Apapa area of Lagos to Oregun and Port Harcourt as a result of the gridlock.