Business

Bulk cargo traffic drops 60% over extortion, congestion

Movement of bulk cargo traffic to Lagos seaports by Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) has dropped by 60 per cent due to extortion and traffic congestion. It was gathered that the operator had shifted to Onne Port because of the excessive charges from terminal operators in Lagos.

 

According to an operator, Mrs Bola Muse, there has been drastic drop on movement of cargoes by barges in Lagos due to excessive charges from terminal operators. She added that foreigners had also taken 80 per cent of business from the indigenous barge operators.

 

Muse explained: “The traffic in Onne is not as much as that of Lagos. Customers prefer to use Onne for now. Also, there is no support for indigenous firms from the government and there is competition from our foreign counterparts.”

 

Another barge operator, Ifeanyi Imion explained that Onne Port had a better shoreline line than ports in Lagos, giving room for a wider navigation area. He said: “We have witnessed more than a 60 per cent drop in cargo traffic.

 

This is a major drop. Normally November to January used to be our peak season, but in 2021 until last month, there was nothing to write home about. “At times when you come to the ports, it would look like all the jetties are locked up because there is no work.

 

The reason is that most of them have moved back to Port Harcourt.

 

The few ones that are still left behind are making nothing compared to the ones in PH because of area boys. We have a smaller number of vessels on Lagos waters now, I mean containers coming with cargoes and the ones coming to drop their containers.”

 

Imion added that Maersk Line, one of the shipping companies, now preferred to operate in Port Harcourt.

 

He noted that most operators preferred to do business in Port Harcourt Port because the shoreline was better than Lagos where there was narrow navigation area.

 

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