Many companies are said to be relocating from Apapa in Lagos State due to the gridlock usually experienced by motorists and commuters on the Mile 2/Tin-Can Island-Apapa Expressway.
The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
The president of the association, Mr Lucky Amiwero, said that many companies had also closed shops as a result of the `bottleneck’ usually created by the gridlock.
Amiwero said that many people had stopped coming to the ports due of the bad roads.
“The gridlock is killing the economy. The economy is being affected by the gridlock. `The gridlock is affecting the going and coming out of the ports. This has also contributed to the high costs of goods in the country,’’ Amiwero told NAN.
He explained that this was why Nigerian ports had been tagged as one of the most expensive ports in the world.
Amiwero said that the Lagos ports, consisting of-Tin-Can, Apapa, Brawal, Lilypond and PTML ports, is controlling 80 per cent of the cargo throughput (imports and exports) in the country.
He described Lagos as the commercial nerve centre of the country, adding that the gridlock had critically affected both imports and exports.
Also, Mr Eugene Nweke, President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), suggested that there should be a decentralisation of import activities in the Western ports.
Nweke said that with the decentralisation, there would be less cargo traffic stressing that this would reduce pressure on the major roads leading to the ports.
The freight forwarder said some categories of cargoes should be diverted to other designated ports in the country.
Similarly, the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, alleged that the agency responsible for the maintenance of Mile 2/Tin-Can/Apapa Expressway had abandoned its responsibility.
Ogungbemi said the bad roads had done a lot of damage to trucks plying the route.
According to him, the roads leading to the ports which serve as the gateway to the economy ought to be the best.
NAN reports that both the Federal and the Lagos State Governments had in 2015 promised to relocate some business activities out of the Apapa port to a more conducive environment.
This, the government said, would reduce the constant gridlock on that route and the long hours of doing business.