By Samson Echenim
The implications of border closure by the Nigerian government are becoming clearer in the trade sector as the ports have begun to witness an influx of importations.
The situation has put the reported low capacities of some of the terminals on the spot.
Nigeria’s largest container terminal, APM Terminal, Apapa, says its terminals are witnessing heavy traffic of containers following certain policies of the government, including the border closure and congestion has become imminent.
Warning of imminent congestion, the terminal, which is also the largest container terminal in West Africa said it was willing to offer a discount for longstanding containers commensurate with dwell time and therefore urge customers with containers in this category to take advantage of the offer and take delivery of their containers.
“If these containers are not cleared by customers soon enough, this volume increase could lead to high yard density which could impact berthing of vessels resulting in vessel queues,” APMT said in a statement.
“We have recently experienced a substantial increase in the volume of containers arriving through the seaports. This positive development can be attributed to various positive government policies such as improvement in the implementation of Ease of Doing Business policy, the Agriculture Promotion Policy and closure of land borders to curtail smuggling activities amongst others.
APMT hinted that with higher container throughput expected ahead of the yuletide all port users need to ensure clearance of the consignments to avoid congestion.
“We, therefore, urge all the relevant stakeholders and the wider port community to ensure timely delivery of containers in an effective manner without compromising the government’s policies and procedures.
The terminal is willing to offer a discount for longstanding containers commensurate with dwell time and therefore urge customers with containers in this category to take advantage of the offer and take delivery of their containers.”