By Yinka Kolawole
Local transportation of goods from Apapa and Tincan Island ports in Lagos costs up to 10 times higher than the ports in Ghana and South Africa, according to a research carried out by SBM Intelligence.
The SBM research tracked shipments from the European Union into Apapa in Lagos, Durban in South Africa and Tema in Ghana.
The report, released yesterday, also noted that it costs five times more to ship goods from any part of the world into Nigeria ports than other African ports.
The Apapa and Tincan Island ports, Nigeria’s busiest port terminals, have suffered severe traffic congestion for years and government efforts to resolve the problem has not yielded considerable results.
Data compiled by SBM Intelligence showed that local transport from the port in Lagos costs an estimated $2,055, compared to $285 spent in moving goods from the Tema port in Ghana and $208 from Durban port in South Africa into the ports host cities. According to the report, shipping charges from European countries to Apapa port costs $374 per ton compared to $321 to Tema port in Ghana and $247 to Durban port in South Africa. Comparing terminal charges at the three ports, it was discovered that charges at Apapa are almost double of what are paid at Tema port and more than double that of Durban.
Terminal charges in Apapa are $457 compared to $284 in Tema and $180 at the Durban port. The report stated: “SBM tracked terminal charges that containers pay while they are in those ports, and the average cost of local transportation from the port to selected warehouses within the port cities. “The costs for Apapa Port in Lagos are by far the highest, five times higher than in Durban, South Africa, and three times higher than in Tema, Ghana.
“While each of the component parts of this dataset, shipping charges, terminal charges and local transport, are highest for Lagos, it is local transport, 10 times the cost in Lagos than in both Durban and Tema, that really makes Lagos an expensive place to do business in.”
Nigerian business operators have lamented that poor infrastructure pushes up costs and puts them at a disadvantage as Nigeria prepares to enter the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed, recently said it is more expensive to transport goods from Lagos to Kano than from China to Nigeria.
Ahmed said: “Modern industry competitiveness depends to a great extent on provision of adequate and efficient infrastructure.
“For instance, due to poor infrastructure, it will cost a business owner in Nigeria more to transport goods from Lagos to Kano than it will cost a Chinese business owner to transport the same goods from China to Lagos.
“We must address all these issues since AfCFTA is not just about trade in goods, but also trade in services.”