A Maritime expert, Mr Lucky Amiwero, on Monday in Lagos, called for urgent establishment of deep sea ports for Nigeria to control over 95 per cent of cargo within the West and Central Africa sub-region.
Amiwero, National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that presently, Nigeria controlled between 70 to 75 per cent of cargo within West Africa and also had a huge market, which was the target of the regional competitors.
The Customs agent said that Nigeria’s way-out was to develop deep sea ports that would accommodate what regional competitors were putting in place.
“The development of a load centre leads to new distribution pattern as any new creation within West Africa Sub-region will alter the distribution pattern by siphoning business from Nigerian ports.
“This practice is common in the development of transhipment centre.
“Mega container ship with 2000 to 18,000 TUEs are now deployed to the existing load centre that can accommodate them, “ Amiwero said.
He said that the Lagos port access road was facing challenges especially trucks with empty containers for offloading, loading, waiting for client, broken-down trucks, empty tanker waiting to load fuel and tanker looking for clients.
Amiwero said that containers also faced delay during clearance due to enormous procedures attached to cargo clearance.
He said that a lot of time was also spent loading vessels and transferring containers to the storage yard.
Amiwero said that containers usually faced delay while waiting in the container yards; long time of processing containers out of ports as well as entry and exit of containers.
He said that there was need for government to eradicate gridlock on ports access road in Lagos to enable the seaports achieve their aim in promoting international trade by generating commercial activities.