The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed concern at the adverse effect of port congestion and blockage of roads leading to the Apapa Ports on organised businesses.
The Director-General of NECA, Mr Olusegun Oshinowo, said in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos that companies involved in the importation of sensitive raw materials and finished products, including pharmaceuticals materials, were incurring huge losses.
According to him, clearing the goods from the ports has become a herculean task.
He said where the goods and raw materials are finally retrieved, they may have to be destroyed due to quality challenges related to temperature issues, having overstayed beyond safe period in the ports.
Oshinowo said that heavy demurrage being incurred due to the congestion and delays compounded the problem.
He said that demurrage on 20ft and 40ft containers are N60, 000 and N90, 000 per day respectively.
“Where the container stays from June and is only released in mid-August, it would have accrued a demurrage of N6.84 million on one 40ft container alone.
“This is apart from the increased freight costs from transporters due to the significant down time of haulage trucks caused by the congestion,” he said.
According to him, this accounts for the rising cases of abandoned containers and imports at the ports.
While commending the on-going efforts by Government to clear the Apapa ports of congestion, he called for urgent measures to stem the economic hardship that companies were going through using the ports.
Oshinowo called on the Federal Government to direct the Customs Service to exercise 100% waiver of the massive demurrage incurred by companies due to the congestion and delays.
This, according to him, will put action to government’s avowed commitment to ease of doing business in the country.