Inefficiency and gridlock at the Lagos port authority is costing Nigeria billions of naira, according to agents and data from the country’s bureau of statistics.
“General ineffectiveness and gridlock at the sea ports are causing decline in volume of cocoa being exported in the past two years,” Sanmi Adekoya, a trader and farmer in Ondo state said by phone.
Data shows that Nigeria’a income revenue from cocoa, the nation’s highest income generator in the agriculture sector, declined by nearly 50 percent year on year and by 22 per cent quarter on quarter, on what exporters called inefficiency at the ports of Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos.
According to the nation’s bureau of statistics, the west African country’s foreign exchange income from cocoa dropped from N58.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018 to N31.3 billion and from N40.6 billion in fourth quarter of last year to current N31.3 billion in the first quarter of the year.
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority Hadiza Bala Usman said in April that the country is building a new deep-sea port in the Lekki Free Trade zone in Lagos and is considering additional two facilities to tackle the congestion problem it faces.
Without a timeline for completing these projects, it is unclear if Nigeria will keep losing money from the continued issues crippling the port, which currently handles 80 percent of all shipping traffic in Africa’s biggest economy.