By Ephraim Oseji
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has appealed to the Federal Government to find solution to the perennial congestion in Apapa Wharf that is responsible for the delay in discharging of cargoes.
Onuesoke, who made the call while speaking to journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on arrival from United States where he attended Maritime International conference, observed that Nigeria is losing millions of dollars to other African countries as a result of the congestion in Apapa and Tin-Can Wharf because of traffic gridlock.
He pointed out that the delay at the ports was the reason ship owners preferred to go to ports of neighbouring countries, adding, “Ships are not expected to come and wait for days or weeks in one port. They are expected to come, drop the containers and turn and leave because time is money.”
He advised that if abandoned Onne, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Warri, Sapele and Koko among other ports in the country are dredged and open for business, Nigeria economy would be better for it hence ships would now have choice on where to berth in Nigeria instead of going to African ports.
Onuesoke affirmed that data obtained from global port operations indicated that number of vessels that called at the port in 2018 had a decline of 2.72% when compared to the previous year.