Dilapidated access roads to ports crippling international trade — LCCI
May 22, 2018
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), says the bad access roads to Lagos ports have crippled international trade transactions.
Director-General of the chamber, Mr Muda Yusuf, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday that the bad condition of the roads had contributed to the high cost of doing business at the ports.
“ The state of the ports is still very disturbing. It is worrisome because there has not been, first, adequate investment in the ports but more importantly, the biggest of the crisis that we have in the ports is access to the ports.
“Sometimes it could take weeks for a vehicle to get into the ports.
“It could also take another couple of days for the vehicle to get out of the ports and all these things have very serious financial implications for economic operators.
“So the access roads, although there has been some work going on by Dangote, the Federal Government and so on, it has had a very crippling effect on international trade transactions.
“It has also contributed to the cost of doing business.’’
The director-general noted that importers also incurred demurrage, if containers are not taken out on time.
He said that importers paid a lot of demurrage to terminal operators on account of the fact that they could not take their containers out in good time.
“Even the vessels that also come into the country, there are a lot of penalty the ship owners also incurred because if you bring a vessel and you are supposed to discharge the vessel – may be in a week – but it’s taking three to four weeks, there is an amount you pay for every extra day that you keep the vessel there.
“So a lot of costs are also being borne by the ship owners.
“There is a lot of pressure that it creates even for the manufacturing sector.
“If your raw materials are supposed to come in at a particular time and because of the challenges and bottlenecks in the port, is not coming out on time, is a problem for the manufacturing.’’
Yusuf said that there were also issues of huge documentation and corruption within the ports
He noted that the policy of the Federal Government on Ease of Doing Business which specified that six or seven agencies should be at the ports was not complied with.
The LCCI chief said that a lot of importers still complained about the long processes and extortions taking place in the ports.
Yusuf said the delay at the ports also affected importers that obtained loans from banks; as it prolonged the cycle of the business and debt service also increased significantly.