Overtime cargoes, congestion hobble Lagos ports

Lagos port

Uneasy calm may have settled in the maritime sector over the unprecedented number of overtime cargoes in the Lagos seaports, which has resulted to loss of huge revenue and congestion.

Cargoes are classified as overtime when they have stayed in the ports for between 28-30 days without clearing and delivery.

The Guardian gathered that over 10,000 cargoes are currently lying at the Lagos seaports, which could lead to congestion and force shipping firms to surcharge Nigerian bound cargoes.

Consequently, CMA CGM, a shipping giant has introduced $400 surcharge on Lagos bound cargoes effective October 15, 2018, saying its action was necessitated by disruption of its activities due to congestion at the ports.

Worried by the development, stakeholders have continued to criticise concerned parties, with calls for urgent Federal Government’s intervention.

President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, bemoaned a situation whereby many cargoes have overstayed for between 30 days and seven years and were still lying at the ports.

He said terminal operators should transfer overtime cargoes according to the Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA).

“The Customs should draw up the list and send it to Ikorodu, which is the government warehouse. The implication is that those cargoes are occupying space and congesting the ports, besides, it is making our ports unfriendly and it is against international standards,” he said.

Public Relations Officer, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nkiru Nwala had blamed the high cost of transportation for failure to move overtime cargoes from Apapa port to the warehouse in Ikorodu.

Nwala said that it costs N550, 000 to move a 20-foot container from Apapa to Jibowu, a cost she said the Command could not afford.

At Tincan Island Command, the Public Relations Officer, Uche Ejesieme, said they are compiling the list of overtime cargoes and necessary actions would be taken as soon as it get directives from the headquarters.

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