Some importers yesterday expressed fear over the rising cost of hauling containers from the Apapa ports to warehouses in Lagos, saying they could hardly cope at N700, 000 per cargo.
Some months ago a 40-foot container was transported for N120, 000 while a 20-foot was transported for N80, 000.
An importer and President, Association of Progressive Traders (APT), Trade Fair Complex; Mr Jude Okeke, said that the prices of goods will continue to soar.
“Before the traffic congestion that has become synonymous with the ports access roads, it is easy to bring cargoes to the markets with little transport fare.
“Today, the thought of having one’s container berthing at the Apapa Wharf sends shivers to one’s spine because of the trouble associated with such venture,” Okeke said.
He said that with the uncertainty in bringing cargo through the Apapa ports, importers might be compelled to use neighbouring country’s ports to ship in their cargoes.
The APT president pleaded with the Federal Government to open up other sea ports in the country to decongest the Lagos ports and make transaction easy for them.
Speaking on the cost of hauling cargo, within Lagos, another stakeholder; Mr Emeka Amadi, said that the Apapa road had defied all known solutions.
“Even the Presidential Order given some weeks ago by Vice-President is temporary as the containers have lined-up in the area, blocking every available space.
“That is why the price of transportation of cargo is on the increase.
“You do not expect somebody’s truck to be on the road for days without the person charging money to cover for the days,” Amadi said.
However, justifying the hike, Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO); Chief Remi Ogungbemi said that it was the market that pushed the price high and not a deliberate act from his members.