Business Hilights
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Importers suffer demurrage, export cargoes rot in warehouses due to bad roads

A report by Business Hilights has revealed that whereas importers spending on demurrage at ports are rising daily, the impacts of bad port access road in Lagos are weighing down investors in non-oil exports as their cargoes rot in warehouse.

In an interview with the founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders’ (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, he said the cost borne by port users either importers or exporters on a daily basis has become unbearable.

According to him, business operators lose well over N20bn on a monthly basis due to the bad state of the nation’s gateway.

He revealed that the state of the port access roads is doing no port user any good but frustration as whereas delay in shipment of cargoes that should ordinarily take one day to enter port now takes one week, importers are now paying through their nose in demurrage as government agencies are not ready to extend waivers for delays in removing cleared containers.

Another produce exporter who pleaded anonymity in the last two years, no exporter has been able to meet up with his contractual obligations and their capital is tied up in banks.

He revealed that the scenario has caused drop in shipment at a time government is campaigning for non-oil exports.

In his submission, “bet me, there are so many warehouses filled with goods that should have been exported but no access to the ports. You and I know that at the moment these produce stay too long in the warehouses, they lose their original value and investments become impaired.

Already, observers are calling for more days of waivers for imported goods, and time table for entry of export bound cargoes so that gridlocks will be better managed to save investors and port users the agonies of daily revenue loss.