The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has raised the alarm that the congestion at the Apapa port is beginning to force multinational companies out of Nigeria.
It said the situation was also affecting the smooth business operations across the country due to high cost of doing business.
The President of ACCI, Adetokunbo Kayode, said these at a roundtable discussion with a theme, ‘Apapa Port Operational Challenges’ organised by the ACCI Policy Advocacy Centre in Abuja.
He said that the crisis was seriously affecting the performance of the economy as it had increased the cost of doing business nationwide.
He expressed concern that Nigeria was also losing port patronage to neighbouring countries.
For instance, the ACCI boss said that the cost of doing business at the port had risen by 400 per cent, while port users were losing N1.5bn through charges and levies daily.
Kayode said, “We all know that we have very serious problems around our Apapa port. Let me state from the outset that this is not a mere talk shop. Our deliberation here has the nod and support of the present administration.
“Cost of doing business has risen by 400 per cent; port users lose almost N1.5bn daily on charges and all other issues attached to it.
“The cost of container transport within Lagos has risen from N40,000 to N400,000. Cost of container transport outside Lagos has risen from N60,000 to N600,000.
“Daily overtime container storage is now N30,000. Container deposit of between N500,000 to N1.2m is becoming non refundable due to container delay penalty. Demurrage charges growing in a very harsh manner due to cargo movement delay.”
He also said the port congestion had led to increase in prices of consumer goods by about 300 per cent, adding that Nigeria was losing patronage to neighboring nations.
“Multinationals are moving operations out of Nigeria. Port congestion contributes to smuggling, crisis at the border,” he added.
Kayode also said, “The lack of full automation of port processes result in opportunities for rent seeking, time wastage and port congestion, largely manipulated truck call-up system leading to difficulties in managing truck parks and holding bays.”