The National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero has revealed that about 70 per cent of businesses have left Apapa due to the traffic gridlock and bad ports access roads.
Speaking exclusively to the Nigerian Tribune, the NCMDLCA President stated that, “When you look at procedures in the ports, there is nothing to write home about. When you look at our shipbuilding sector, there is nothing to write home about. Inside the ports, all the scanners are dead. None is functional.
“Outside the ports, the Tin-Can port access road is in shambles. Access to the ports is a nightmare, 70 per cent of all the companies operating in Apapa have left. The maritime sector retrogressed in the last four years. Due to these anomalies, ports like Cotonou, Accra and Lome have taken over our ship traffic.
“When you go to Apapa, many corporate offices have closed down. As I am talking to you now, I am planning to move back to Festac. If you cannot access your office, if you have to take one-way every time you want to access Apapa from Tin-Can, in that kind of inconsistency and unpredictability, many had to relocate from Apapa. For those still there, it is a nightmare. Many people have lost their lives. There is no holding bay, no trailer park. The roads are terrible.
“The situation we have in our hands is that Nigeria relies on the ports in Lagos because they are the active ones. Apapa, Tin -can and PTML are Nigeria’s active ports. The other ports outside Lagos have issues of draft level and modern port equipment, which is why they are moribund.
“Even the ports in Lagos that are active are fast losing traffic to ports in other countries in the West African sub-region. Why Togo, Lome and Accra ports are taken over our ship traffic is because the draft level in Lagos is between 8metres to 13.5 meteres, while Togo, Lome and Accra are already getting to 18 metres, so bigger vessels call there instead of calling at our ports. “