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Gridlock: ‘Grant waivers for goods held up in Apapa’

A stakeholder in the maritime industry , Mr. Lucky Amiwero , has written to the Acting President, Prof . Yemi Osinbajo, requesting that waivers should be granted on goods whose owners are having difficulties accessing and exiting the Lagos ports owing to the bad condition of the access roads .

Amiwero noted in the letter that the condition had assumed an alarming proportion because of daily occurrences of destruction of loaded goods that always fall on vehicles and people .

He said , “ As a member of the Presidential Committee on the Realisation of 48 – hour Clearance of Cargo from Nigerian Ports and Borders , among other committees , we are indeed , concerned about the state of our port access roads in the Lagos area , that accounts for almost 75 – 80 per cent of cargo throughput in the country.

“ The clearance of goods from the Lagos ports is associated with high demurrages , rents , risk of carriage and continuous delay , which have heightened the cost of transportation , increased the number of days to access and exit the ports , with the attendant carriage risk of continuous falling of containers .

“ This has greatly increased cost due to inconsistency , lack of transparency and predictability in the clearance of goods , which require the government ’s urgent intervention .”

Amiwero recalled that the effect of the negative impact created by the damaged road necessitated the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents to petition the Federal Government under the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua about the implication of the poor roads on the nation ’s economy .

He noted that the President had at the time directed that action should be taken by the Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development.

He stated , “Eight years after the approval by the President in 2009 , the port access roads leading to the economic gateway to the nation that contributes almost 40 per cent of non – oil revenue into the national coffers are still not rehabilitated .

“ The neglect is a serious setback to the nation , as the bad potholes, flooded port access roads and the gridlock constitute almost 25 per cent of the cumbersome , lengthy procedure and port process , which account for associated delays and the highest port cost in the sub region that encourage cargo diversion to other neighbouring countries ’ ports .”

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