The cost of moving imports from Nigerian ports to other parts of the country has continued to rattle goods, manufacturers and operators of logistics.
Experts have linked the exorbitant cost of movement of goods at the ports to the high cost of goods in the country, especially imported vehicles and consumables. Daily Trust findings showed that it costs around N1.6 million to transport a 40 feet container from Lagos to Kano from the previous N900, 000. The same 40 feet container costs N1.2 million to move to Abuja from the N800, 000 that was previously charged.
A logistics expert, Alhaji Mohammed Danlami, described as “a nightmare”, the process of transporting containers and goods within and outside Lagos from the TinCan Port, in Apapa, Lagos. Truck hirers now pay at least N800, 000 per truck for intra-city haulage while inter-state cargo movement costs between N1.5 million and N2 million, depending on the location. Confirming Daily Trust’s findings, Alhaji Danlami said it costs about N180, 000 to N200, 000 to move a single vehicle out of the Port to Abuja or Kano.
He said in addition to the bad roads leading to the port, there are tankers and trucks parked by both sides of the road, narrowing it and causing heavy traffic.
He said it takes a minimum of five days for a truck driver to gain access to the port or for someone to move a vehicle out of the port due to the gridlock and the slow security checks involved. “If you don’t know your way or who to bribe, it may take you up to 10 days to gain entrance into the port. This is why haulage is now expensive and many people have gone into it to make money as well,” he said.
The Managing Director of Mardi Maritime Services Limited, Bello Jada Hamidu, said despite the presidential taskforce, the situation is getting worse. Hamidu said: “The situation at Tincan Port is the worst. We spend between seven and 14 days on the queue just to get into the port.”
He added that to deliver a 40 feet container within Lagos currently costs around N600, 000 to N700, 000. Reacting to the development, the Vice President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Mines, Dr. Anene Somadina, told Daily Trust that the high cost is a major concern to manufacturers and industrialists in the country.
He said the cost is finally borne by the final consumer as manufacturers factor such expenses into the cost of production. He said the high cost impacts negatively on prices of goods and services, leading to inflation.
He added that production deadlines are disrupted most times due to delay in the movement of the goods, thereby disrupting proposed supply schedules, leading to loss of revenue for manufacturers.
He called on the federal government and other authorities concerned to, in addition to fixing the roads leading to the port, decongest it and simplify all processes to promote the ease of doing business in the country.
Alhaji Abdullaziz Hassan Umar, an importer who spoke to Daily Trust in Kano, described the system as very effective, even as he decried the recent restriction on haulage of goods occasioned by restriction of movement because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We don’t have issues clearing our goods at either the ports of origin or ports of destination provided that you operate within the ambits of the law.