The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said the gridlock in the Apapa area of Lagos State has imposed unbearable cost on businesses.
According to the chamber, the dysfunctional state of the ports and associated logistics for cargo clearing had become a nightmare.
Addressing a press conference recently, the LCCI President, Mr. Paul Ruwase, described the situation as horrendous.
While acknowledging the intervention of the Lagos State government and security agencies in restoring sanity to the axis, the chamber was of the opinion that whatever measures being proffered needed to be holistic, decisive, consistent and sustainable.
“On the Apapa traffic gridlock, the cost to business is horrendous. This includes the astronomical increase in haulage cost, increased interest cost (borrowed fund) used for import transaction, high demurrage charges, high insurance premium of vessels coming to Nigeria, high shipping cost, low capacity utilisation due to problem of access to raw materials from the port as well as traffic congestion which has extended to the metropolis from the ports, paralysis of economic activities in Apapa axis and many more.
“What we are witnessing today is a reflection of the several years of neglect of our ports and other infrastructure. We appreciate the recent intervention by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
“We also note the decision of the federal Executive Council to award a N72 billion contract to fix the road leading from the Lagos ports to the toll gate. We commend this move and urge that it be followed through to completion.
“We like to however reiterate that these measures need to be holistic, decisive, consistent and sustainable. The rail system needs to work, the capacity of the ports needs to expand, the pipelines for the transportation of petroleum products need to be made functional, and the tank farms need to be better dispersed.
“We need to urgently restore order and sanity to the Lagos ports and improve access to them. It is regrettable that Lagos port which are major sources of Customs revenue had to suffer the kind of deterioration and challenges that is currently taking place,” Ruwase added.