Patronage of ports in neighbouring countries, especially the Port of Cotonou in Benin republic has been rising as more importers have found succour there from the nightmare in evacuating goods from Lagos ports.
This is coming as the cost of evacuating containers from Apapa and Tin Can Island ports has increased by over483 percent. From an average of N120,000 for transporting containers, the cost has risen to more than N700,000 per TEU following the collapse of the access roads to Lagos ports.
In the view of importers, prices of goods will continue to rise as more importers will dump Lagos ports in preference to their rivals in neighbouring countries.
“With the uncertainty in bringing cargo through the Apapa Ports, the importers might be compelled to use neighboring country’s ports to ship in their cargoes”, Mr. Jude Okeke, an importer and also the leader of the Association of Progressive Traders (ATP), Trade Fair Complex, said.
According to him, the situation will keep on affecting the prices of goods in the market, which will keep increasing. He further stated that the situation wasn’t as bad as it is now, and if it persists, the importers might go for another alternative which might be the only solution.
Another importer, Mr. Emeka Amadi, equally shared his thoughts on this issue saying that the Apapa road had defied all manner of solutions. Despite the directives few weeks ago by the Vice President, Yemi Osiabnjo, the container drivers have defiled all odds and blocked every available space.
However, they urged the Federal Government to intervene and quickly develop other sea ports in the country to ease the Apapa and Tin-Can ports for plausible flow of goods and services.