The cumbersome transaction processes plaguing the nation’s maritime sector continued to attract negative reviews as a group has adjudged the nation’s seaports as the most inefficient with highest days of cargo dwell time in the West African sub region.
The group, Lagos Corridor Organisation, was reported to have reached the conclusion through a survey it carried out on Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos.
Speaking at an event organized by the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, in collaboration with Borderless Alliance in Lagos, Mr. David Nounagnon, representative of the Executive Secretary, Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation, revealed that between 2011 and 2017, dwell time in Lagos ports rose from 20 to 22 days.
He further explained that the high number of check points and longer days of cargo dwell time at the ports contribute to delays in the movement of goods in the region. He noted that undue harassment by security personnel at the ports and at the border posts also hinder trade facilitation in the region.
Giving a comparative analysis of neighbouring countries in the ECOWAS region, Nounagnon explained that as at 2017, Cotonou port had 14 days for cargo dwell time; Ghana’s Tema Port currently has 15 days dwell time, while Lome has the lowest port dwell time of nine days.
On the number of check points along the corridor, Nounagnon said that between 2011 and 2017, road blocks within Nigeria dropped from 32 to 13, but despite the reduction, Nigeria remained the highest in the sub region.
Though Ghana has the same number with Nigeria, however between 2011 and 2015, the country had 28 checkpoints within her corridor. Benin Republic has the lowest number of road blocks within the region with a total of four check points along her corridor.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, said: “Our current mandate on trade and transport facilitation include the protection of investors’ interests from undue interference to guarantee return-on-investments and profitability, protection of consumers from arbitrary charges, enthroning transparency, efficiency and harmony.”