PORTS DECONGESTION: Apapa Port still overloaded

•Takes 92% of total export, 61% import in Q1’22

By Godfrey Bivbere

Efforts to decongest ports in Lagos seem to fail as shippers moved 92.28 percent of Nigeria’s total exports and 60.77 percent of imports through the Apapa port in the first quarter of 2022 (Q1’22).

This means that the remaining nine ports in the country including Tin-Can also in Lagos, four ports in Delta and another four Eastern ports shared the paltry 7.7 percent and 39.2 percent of exports and imports respectively during the period.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics for Q1’22 report shows that 92.28 per cent of goods worth N6.6 trillion were exported through the Apapa port while 60.77 per cent of cargo valued at N3.6 trillion was imported through the same port during the quarter.

The report further noted that 4.7 per cent, 2.27 per cent, 0.40 per cent and 0.15 per cent of the exports valued at N333.9 billion, N161.1 billion, N28.5 billion and N10.5 billion passed through Port Harcourt Area 3 Command, Tin-can Island Command, Murtala Mohammed International, MMI, Airport Command, and Sokoto Area Command respectively.

Similarly, N6.7 billion, N4.3 billion, N1.9 billion, N379.9 million, and N0.2 billion representing 0.09 per cent, 0.06 per cent, 0.03 per cent, 0.01 per cent, and 0.00 per cent were shipped through Seme border post-Command, Port Harcourt Area 1 Command, Abuja International Airport Command, Jigawa Area Command, and Calabar Area Command, respectively.

The NBS report also showed that through the Lagos Industrial Area Command, Tin-can 2 Command, Murtala Mohammed Cargo Command, MMI Airport Command, and Mid-Maritime Bonded Warehouse, cargo worth N132.4 billion, N91.3 billion, N75.9 billion, N68.7 billion, and N47.1 billion, representing 2.24 per cent, 1.55 per cent, 1.29 per cent, 1.16 per cent, and 0.80 per cent, respectively.

Some stakeholders have expressed fears that the focus on Apapa port is causing congestion, and called on the government to address the issue causing the gridlock at Tin-can Island port.

The Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, had embarked on de-concentration of ports activities away from Lagos to Delta and Eastern ports few years ago at the backdrop of growing congestions at the Lagos Ports.

When contacted, the Head of Corporate and Strategic Communication of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Arit Nwokedi, told Vanguard that he cannot confirm if there is congestion, adding that only the terminal operators can do so.

But the Public Relations Officer of Apapa Area 1 Customs Command, Abubakar Usman, said to the best of his knowledge, there is no congestion at the port.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.