Diversion of cargo, imminent increase in freight rates at Lagos ports

Cargo diversion, freight rates likely to rise if ships avoid Nigeria

By Jeph Ajobaju, Editor-in-Chief

Experts and stakeholders warn that collapsing quay decks at Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos could lead to the diversion of cargo to neighboring countries and increase freight rates unless the problem is solved. quickly resolved.

A quay is where cargo is lifted or ships are loaded and unloaded.

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The chief executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammad Bello-Koko, who first sounded the alarm, said more attention should be focused on the rehabilitation of the quay walls.

His view is shared by other stakeholders who said that shipping companies would be afraid to dock ships in ports, which would lead to the diversion of goods to other West African ports and increased charges. transport.

Adewale Ishola, a member of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), warned that the condition of the quayside areas is dangerous.

“Wharf aprons pose a hazard to incoming vessels. They put arriving ships at risk, so that means if you’re not careful, people will say our ports aren’t safe. If our quay decks are not strong enough to accommodate ships, it means ships will refuse to go to Tin Can port,” he said.

“Maybe now they will go to other ports and drop off our cargoes. And Apapa port is not even safer because it is older. Apapa was filling up like then; Tin Can was built to carry cargo off Apapa Tin Can was built out of necessity.

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“This means that if ships start refusing to come to these ports because of collapsing quay decks, there may be an additional premium for them to enter our ports because they know they are taking a risk. to come there.

“So the cost of delivering cargo could become higher if they had to bring their ships to come and deliver cargo to a collapsing wharf.”

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Negative economic impact

Oil and gas analyst Zaka Bala added that the impact of abandoned quay decks will hit the economy hard as ships avoid coming to Nigeria, according to a report by The punch.

He said: “This portends a catastrophic fate for the Nigerian economy. This portends disaster for the Nigerian economy as many ships will start leaving Nigeria. And it will inspire other countries that are on the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean to start developing their ports.

“Once they start developing their ports, all the big ships will start diverting to their ports and once that happens most of the ships that are supposed to bring cargo to Nigeria will start docking in other countries. .

“Before you know it, other countries will take Nigeria’s place. And once that happens, it means that even if we import goods, they will stop in other countries and we will be forced to… ‘go to other countries in Africa to bring our goods in. It will spell economic disaster for Nigeria.

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