The ease of doing business in Nigeria might be written in black and white fine prints covered with gold or silver hard core sitting in one government office in Abuja, until its put into practical use it otherwise remains a document,
Despite the cries of residents, motorist and business operators Apapa traffic gridlock persist as never before. But how does this affect international and local businesses? Who suffers the harsh business terrains? as well as the near-collapse of infrastructures such as roads and rail, land-lock countries such as Niger Republic, Chad and others are being persuaded by the governments of some West Africa countries to route their consignments through their ports.
Maritime reports have revealed how these countries have been sending envoys to the land-locked countries to convince them to route their goods through these various ports.
It was gathered that Benin Republic seems to be benefiting more from the lapses on the nation’s side as most of such consignments are transported along the border with Nigeria to these countries. This is in addition to simpler clearing processes and Customs checks at the competing neighbouring ports.
Recall that a few years ago more than 80 per cent of goods to these land-locked countries were shipped through Nigerian ports. Several efforts have been made in the past to attract them back to Nigerian ports by both the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC. Gains made did not last long as the cargo clearing processes at the Nigerian ports and logistics to move goods in and out of the ports continued to worsen.
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, has repeatedly stressed the need to make the nation’s port clearing and documentation simpler. He said most importers who operate as business people, tend to go to where it is less difficult and less expensive to get their businesses done. He warned that unless deliberate efforts were made to simplify documentation and clearing process the country will continue to loose cargo traffic to ports of neighbouring countries.