BY OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Export Promotion Council] (NEPC) have moved to find a lasting solution and fast-track export cargo containers’ access into the ports in Lagos.
The gridlock as a result of cargo congestion and access roads to the ports in Lagos has become a recurring decimal and an issue of great concern to export development and promotion in Nigeria.
The effects of this are constant complaints from exporters on loss incurred due to over-delay of consignments before access into the ports, which at times rendered products unwholesome and subsequently face rejects.
At a recent stakeholders’ meeting organised by NEPC in Lagos, NPA managing director, Hadiza Bala Usman, urged the operators to utilise other ports for exports. She stated that cargoes should be linked to ports of a destination rather than congesting a particular port.
According to Usman, “There has been a challenge and congestion at the port area. We are trying to categorise cargoes. As of Sunday, March 21, 2021, we had 823 trucks of export cargoes that have been ticketed, have their e-call up, and waiting to enter the ports. Some of them are already at Lilypond and a significant portion on the road. We advise that cargoes should be kept at the premises of their owners and should be well preserved.”
Also, the executive director/CEO of NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, expressed concerns over the gridlock at the ports due to cargo congestion, saying, this had made exports from Nigeria not to be competitive in comparison to those from other countries.
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A lowering of the OPEC+ oil demand growth forecast for this year by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) also weighed on prices and made it more likely the meeting would result in continued restraint.
On Wednesday, the Joint Technical Committee, which advises the group of oil-producing nations that includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, made no formal recommendation, three OPEC+ sources said.
OPEC+ is currently curbing output by just over 7 million bpd to support prices and reduce oversupply. Saudi Arabia has added to those cuts with a further 1 million bpd.
The cuts came after the novel coronavirus outbreak turned into the biggest global health crisis in a century and led to the evisceration of demand for oil and fuel.
Recovery has been intermittent as outbreak after outbreak of coronavirus infections leads to more lockdown measures.
France President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday put his country into a third lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks to cope with a third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.