Exporters Count Costs
The gridlock and congestion which have become major features of Apapa, Nigerias premier port city, have continued to take their toll on both exporters and importers who make use of the two ports in Apapa for their export and import activities. Long travel time to Apapa from other parts of Nigeria which has graduated from days to weeks on a single trip is impacting significantly on businesses, increasing costs for exporters and eroding importers margins. About 30,000 metric tonnes of cocoa on its way to Apapa port was trapped recently, leading to huge expenses by exporters. Going to Apapa and Tin Can Island ports that previously took hours, now take almost four weeks as trucks struggle through craters, ditches and water-logged roads to get there. Export cargoes are either trapped in traffic jams or stored in transit warehouses in Lagos, explained Pius Ayodele, president of the Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria.