OPS urge government’s intervention in trade facilitation, EODB
Members of the Organized Private Sector (OPS) have sought government’s intervention in addressing the current dilapidated state of access roads to the nation’s ports in Lagos State and the resultant traffic gridlock, citing its implications on trade facilitation and ease of doing business (EODB).
The OPS comprising the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA), National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME) and National Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), expressed concern about the state of the access roads.
According to them, this challenge is having debilitating implications on trade facilitation, cost of cargo transportation and overhead cost of businesses in Nigeria.
“In fact the traffic jam on these roads currently hampers access to the sea ports, paralysing economic activities, engendering loss of man hour, enormous wastage of fuel, huge increase in cargo dwell time, causing preventable accidents and heightened security risk.
“Most worrisome is that fact that this challenge is also leading to heavy revenue loss to Government, overly too long turnaround time for delivery of cargoes, huge transportation cost, avoidable raw materials stock-out, inability of companies to meet set production targets to mention but a few. This by all standards is not business friendly.
“As it is now trucks hired to carry cargoes belonging to our members cannot have easy access to the port to lift or deliver cargoes and those lifting cargoes cannot come out of the port because of the long hours of traffic.Imagine a situation where it is taking between five and eight weeks for our members to take delivery of their cargoes of vital raw materials.
“These same port users now pay between N350,000 and N400,000 as cargo transport cost as against the standard rate N100,000 per cargo”, they said in a statement issued by the Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir
Members of the OPS however called on the Federal Government to speed up actions that will proffer permanent solutions to this challenge by setting up a taskforce made up of representatives of all stakeholders to strategize on ways and means of resolving this challenge and creating alternative routes since the Wharf road is being upgraded and put measures in place that will immediately free the road and ease the current pressure on all the stakeholders operating on the maritime value chain.
It would be recalled that the President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Tola Faseru, had decried the state of infrastructure devoted to export, saying the travel time, waiting time, and transaction time have led to the wastage of agricultural commodities with huge economic losses for the operators.
In June this year, the Federal Government announced that a section of the Apapa Wharf Road would be shut down for one year to enable its reconstruction.
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