The House of Representatives at its plenary on Tuesday September 28,2021 sought urgent need to proffer solution to persistent congestion at the Nigeria port.
Hon. Muktar Ahmed who moved the motion said that out of the six (6) Ports in Nigeria, the Apapa and Tin Can Ports jointly handle about 80% of the country’s total imports while other Ports have been operating far below capacity as they jointly handle only 20% of the total cargo volume.
He is Concerned that the two Lagos Ports have been bedeviled by excruciating congestion which are adversely impacting on the ease of doing business, thus leading to loss of revenues to the country;
The Hon. said that obsolete clearing methods, abandonment of containers by importers, lack of automation of clearing, high terminal charges, exorbitant demurrage charges, absence of call-up system, cumbersome and multiple clearing procedures, corrupt and other sharp practices have not helped the present congestion which have so far defied all solutions.
The House is worried that the statutory process of decongestion through auction sales has not helped much due to the slow pace of Nigeria’s administration of justice in condemning the seizures presented by the Nigerian Customs Service
The House is also concerned that the above scenario has caused the diversion of cargoes from Nigeria to her coastal neighbors like the Benin Republic and Togo, thereby leading to loss of huge businesses and revenues running into hundreds of billions of dollars;
The House therefore urged the Nigerian Customs Service to develop a speedy process of auctioning containers that are over 45 days at the Port to make the Ports more competitive with the Ports of neighboring countries.
Also mandate the Committee on Customs and Excise to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the causes of the persistent congestion in Nigeria’s Ports and find short-term, medium-term, and long-term solutions to it.
For head of press; Office of Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters