The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over the state of the country’s seaports, saying this has continued to complicate the ease of doing business at the port environment with gross implications for investment promotion.
The President, LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said at the virtual inauguration of the chamber’s Maritime Group on Wednesday that no economy could be competitive in the international trade arena without an efficient and functional maritime sector.
According to her, over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s imports and exports to the rest of the world are conveyed via sea, underscoring the strategic importance of maritime to the domestic and global economy.
She said the formation of the Maritime Group was borne out of the need to consolidate the chamber’s advocacy activities in the sector, considering its strategic role in trade facilitation, and global supply chain linkages.
Mabogunje said, “The creation of this group is aimed at making the chamber’s advocacy agenda more impactful in the maritime sector, particularly within the framework of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
“Despite the strategic importance of maritime activities to trade facilitation and industrialisation, Nigerian seaports remain largely underdeveloped and poorly ranked among its peers in the West Africa sub-region.”
According to her, the challenges border on delays in import and export processes, heavy human and vehicular congestion around the ports, policy and regulatory inconsistencies, infrastructure and logistic constraints, difficulty in gaining access to the ports, security concerns and incidence of corruption and infractions among regulatory agencies at the ports.