Manufacturers’ cargoes trapped at Lagos ports

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Some manufacturing firms are finding it tough at the Lagos ports.

Their goods have been trapped because of the traffic gridlock on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and the delay in moving their trucks to the ports, The Nation has learnt.

A clearing agent close to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mr. Rasak Balogun said goods worth millions of naira belonging to five companies are trapped at the Tin Can Island and Apapa ports.

The delay, he said, has “serious implication” for the firms’ production, if the government fails to address the issue.

The delay has led to the payment of huge demurrage to shipping companies and rent to terminal operators.

It is also affecting their targets for this quarter (July – September).

The firms’ agents are shuttling from office to office, inn and outside the ports, to sped up clearing.

Importers and clearing agents are also in the same boat, it was learnt.

Beside, banks are on their neck to service their loans.

Sources close to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it takes ships on the Lagos waters between eight to ten days to berth at the ports.

The importers, manufacturers and agents are urging the Minister of Finance and Co-coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to “exercise her power under Section 152 of CEMA” to waive all demurrage and other charges on the affected goods.

An importer, who pleaded for anonymity, said he took a loan to import rice, adding that the ship arrived at the port between June 26 and 28, but could not discharge its goods until July 7.

He said his bank has been pursuing him for part payment, which was due last month, adding that the demurrage is huge.

—THE NATION

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