LCCI Laments Exporters, Importers’ Woes Worsening At Ports

Port operations at Apapa and Tincan ports have worsened the plight of many importers, exporters, traders, and manufacturers as movement in and out of the ports remain a challenge, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday.

The President, LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, at the chamber’s quarterly press conference on the state of the economy, said the burdensome process of cargo clearing at the ports and the attendant extortions continued to stifle the productivity of the real economy.

She said, “Haulage fees have skyrocketed due to the cumbersome ports and document processes, which have made port users incur more costs.

“Outside the ports, manufacturers and other importers face serious challenges in conveying their cargo from ports to warehouses due to multiple checkpoints and traffic gridlock.”

Mabogunje noted that despite series of interventions by the Federal Government, persistent gridlock in accessing port facilities and perennial congestions at the ports had remained a recurring theme in the business environment.

She said, “More worrisome are the issues around lack of a credible framework for dispute resolution on import classification and valuation, presence of several agencies with duplicated roles, etc. Inadequate cargo handling facilities is also an issue of concern.

“The Lagos Chamber calls for swift intervention of the government in the identified areas. There is a need to accelerate efforts in procuring electronic scanners to ease the rigorous process of consignment clearance.”

She said while the Federal Government had done well in developing rail infrastructure, there was a need to have an effective multi-modal transport infrastructure around ports to ease pressure on road infrastructure.