in ,

Report Explains Why Nigeria Is Losing $19 Billion A Year.

Nigeria is losing $19 billion a year because of bribes, beatings, and gridlock at Apapa ports and this incompetence is choking Africa’s biggest economy.

BUHARI AND MALAMI

The lines of aging blue, red and yellow trucks begin almost 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the gates of Nigeria’s main port of Apapa.

Valentine, a 34-year-old driver, has been queuing outside the Lagos site for two weeks. He’s had to deal with policemen demanding bribes and fend off hoodlums known as area boys. “This is the worst I’ve seen it,” he said, changing tires in a grimy orange t-shirt. “Every year, it gets worse.”

The lines of aging blue, red and yellow trucks begin almost 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the gates of Nigeria’s main port of Apapa.

Valentine, a 34-year-old driver, has been queuing outside the Lagos site for two weeks. He’s had to deal with policemen demanding bribes and fend off hoodlums known as area boys. “This is the worst I’ve seen it,” he said, changing tires in a grimy orange t-shirt. “Every year, it gets worse.”

The congestion outside and inefficiency within Nigeria’s ports is choking the economy, which vies with South Africa as the continent’s biggest, and causes havoc for businesses that use them to import everything from cars to computers, food and machinery.

Nigeria loses $19 billion annually, or about 5 percent of gross domestic product, from the delays, traffic, illegal charges and insecurity that are increasingly prevalent at its ports, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry said in a report this year.

In the World Bank’s Trading Across Borders survey, which measures the time and expense involved with importing and exporting goods, Nigeria ranks 182nd out of 190 countries, below Syria and Afghanistan.

Intimidated Drivers

We have to pay the area boys and the police also want money,” said David, a 40-year-old driver who’s been traveling to Apapa for almost 20 years. “We can pay 80,000 naira in bribes per trip. If you don’t, it can take weeks to get in. Sometimes they will beat you if you don’t give them money.”

It’s taken a toll on the companies of Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. Dangote Cement Plc, Nigeria’s biggest listed firm, may cancel plans to build an export terminal at Apapa because of the congestion, Chief Executive Officer Joe Makoju said on a call with investors last month. Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc blamed a fall in third-quarter profit partly on the bottleneck there, which it said was leading to more smuggling of sugar through Nigeria’s land borders.

President Muhammadu Buhari, running for reelection in February, said in October the situation was “a major concern” and the government will urgently repair roads and build more railways to the ports. The 75-year-old leader says modernizing infrastructure is vital to diversify the OPEC member from oil and gas and revive an economy still struggling after the 2014 crash in crude prices.

Getting goods through Nigeria’s ports more smoothly and cheaply would also help to curb inflation, which has been above 10 percent for almost three years.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Apapa in May 2017 and directed officials to start working around the clock and all agencies to locate their operations in one place to ease delays.

It’s been to little avail. Many people prefer to use more efficient ports in Benin, Ghana and Togo, according to Mike Onulide, who runs a business exporting food including noodles and garri, a cassava-based staple popular in West Africa.

“You don’t face the same kinds of frustration there that you do in Nigeria,” he said, recalling how a fellow businessman still hasn’t received compensation after one of his containers was dropped into the sea early this year. “There’s been no improvement.”

Credit: Bloomberg Africa.

Loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

mercy johnson, APPOINTMENT

8 Nigerian Celebrities Who Stole Other Women’s Husbands, #1 Will Appall You

Many Nigerians now have Power for Longer Hours compared to 2015 – Fashola