The House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to rehabilitate the eastern seaports as well as dry ports to decongest Lagos ports and encourage more patronage to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
It also called the relevant authorities to stop the diversion of Nigeria-bound cargoes to neighbouring countries.
The call followed the consideration of a motion moved at plenary by Mark Esset.
Moving the motion, the House noted that Nigeria had six major seaports, including Apapa Port and Tin Can Island Port in Lagos State; Calabar Port in Cross River State, Harcourt Port and the Onne Port in Rivers State, and Warri Port in Delta State.
He said that despite having six seaports in Nigeria, Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos had remained the nation’s major economic gateways, while the rest remained either mostly idle or totally non-functional.
Esset said: “Due to the in operation of other seaports, the Apapa and Tin Can Ports are currently operating three times above their capacities as they handle over 70 percent of Nigeria-bound import and export goods, thus making it extremely difficult for trucks to clear their goods on time and resulting in loss of man hours and resources.
“As a result of congestion, collapse of quay aprons and poor monitoring system in Nigeria’s Ports, 60 per cent of containers shipped to West and Central Africa destined for Nigerian markets are diverted to ports in Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and Cote d’Ivoire, causing a yearly revenue loss of about N136 billion.
“A recent report by the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry which revealed that Nigeria loses a whopping N7.6 trillion annually as a result of congestion in the Apapa and Tin Can ports.”