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Importers urge FG to make Eastern ports functional as Apapa gridlock remains

importers on Friday appealed to the Federal Government to open up the seaports
in the Eastern flank of the country to decongest ports in Lagos.

The importers said that the
designation of the Calabar, Port Harcourt and Warri ports for cargo transaction
would bring the perennial traffic at the Apapa Ports to an end.
The traders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that
they were experiencing hardships in getting their goods out of the Apapa ports.
Mr Jude Okeke, an importer and also the President, Association of
Progressive Traders (APT), Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, said the concentration of
cargo import on Apapa ports negates the ease-of-doing business.
Okeke expressed fear over the unending traffic situation along the
port’s axis.
“Do not be surprised that we will wake up one day and
container-laden trucks will overrun the whole of Lagos city with no access
roads for commuters.
“The Federal Government can do a lot of good to the importing
public by opening up the other ports that have been fully utilized over time,’’
Okeke said.
Also, Mrs Vivian Akubueze, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of
Kudi Cosmetics, Lagos, said that it was not wise for cargoes laden with goods
meant for Eastern Nigeria to berth at the Apapa ports.
Akubueze said that such cargoes with its goods should be routed to
the ports in Calabar and Port Harcourt.
“Common  sense ought to tell us that when cargoes transporting
goods meant for other parts of the country berth in Lagos, importers will pay
additional money to transport their goods to their destinations.
“This will cause tear and wear to the nation’s road networks as
well as push the cost of such goods up in the market,’’ Akubueze said.
She said that it had taken her about two weeks to get her goods
out of the Apapa ports after  the Nigeria Customs Service had released
She, therefore, appealed to the government to come to their aid
and halt the rising cost of goods by allowing cargoes to berth in other ports
apart from Lagos.
Also, Mr.
Gab. Ayodele, who deals in industrial chemicals, said that it cost him a lot to
transport its products from the Apapa ports to Calabar where his clients were.
“If the Calabar port is functional, that will save me some cost
and time,’’ he said. 

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