Lawmakers Sound Alarm: Nigeria Hemorrhaging $7 Billion as Ports Struggle

Lawmakers Sound Alarm: Nigeria Hemorrhaging $7 Billion as Ports Struggle.

Two members of the House of Representatives, Hon. Julius Ihonvbare and Hon. Ibrahim A. Isiaka, have raised the alarm over the staggering loss of $7 billion yearly due to inefficiencies and mismanagement plaguing Nigeria’s ports.

The duo expressed their concerns during the parliamentary session on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

The lawmakers noted that Nigeria’s seaports only handle a mere 10% of West African imports, missing out on 60% that are intended for the country, while the remainder finds its way to neighboring nations.

In their joint motion presented at the plenary session, they emphasized the necessity for the House to conduct a thorough investigation to uncover the annual economic losses and missed opportunities resulting from these port inefficiencies.

The House consequently passed a resolution, tasking its Committees on Port and Harbours, National Planning and Economic Development, Maritime Safety Education and Administration, and Nigerian Shippers’ Council to launch an extensive probe into the challenges obstructing the full realization of economic potential in Nigeria’s Ports and Harbours, as well as other areas within the Blue Economy sector.

During the presentation of the motion, Hon. Ihonvbare emphasized the pivotal role of the maritime sector in Nigeria’s economic landscape. He lamented the underutilization of seaports, identifying this as a factor contributing to a considerable loss of potential revenue, which could significantly enhance the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He pointed out, “Nigeria’s seaports currently handle just 10% of West African imports, leading to a significant economic loss of $7 billion annually due to poor management and inefficiencies.”

The lawmakers questioned the inability to provide adequate infrastructure and alleviate the congestion faced by Lagos ports. They raised concerns about why other ports such as Calabar, Port Harcourt, Warri, and Koko cannot be developed to ease pressure on Lagos ports and serve as regional import hubs.

Hon. Ihonvbare underscored the need for increased capacity and modernization in cargo and maritime operations, citing examples where other regional ports, such as the Port of Lomé in Togo, have outpaced Nigerian ports due to modernization reforms and deep draught capabilities.

He added, “Nigeria’s major seaports in Lagos lack the depth to accommodate larger vessels, unlike modern ports such as the Port of Lomé with a draught of 16.60 meters capable of handling third-generation ships. Apapa port, operating with a 13.5 meters draught, faces limitations in receiving vessels with larger container capacities.”

The House of Representatives emphasized the urgency of addressing these port inefficiencies to revitalize the economy and harness the untapped potential in Nigeria’s maritime industry.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles

Back to top button