As Bloomberg reports, a new facility is being constructed in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, with another one possibly being built in the Badagry area of the city, near the border with Benin. In addition, a third project, the Ibom seaport, is being planned to be located in the Niger delta, Nigerian Ports Authority Managing Director Hadiza Bala Usman had informed.
The ports of Lagos are a hub for cargo sailing transiting through Nigeria, but inefficiency and congested roads to the ports create daily queues of hundreds of trucks. For this reason, the country wants to improve the adjacent roads, along with other infrastructure to ease the transportation of goods.
In fact, Mr. Usman noted that the congestion is created because 80% of Nigeria's cargo goes on the road. In order to address this, a seamless evacuation is necessary.
This situation had created shipment delays of about eight weeks, something that made the Nigerian National Cashew Association of Nigeria to raise the alarm last month as $300 million worth of nuts were stuck in containers on trucks waiting to enter the ports.
Commenting on the situation, the Nigeria Cashew Exporters Association said that improper infrastructure, excessive bureaucracy and corruption at the ports are affecting business.
Nigerian cocoa exporters also raised similar concerns in 2018, when trucks carrying the beans took four weeks to get to the ports. This increased haulage costs and put sales contracts at risk.
Now, the Ministry of Transport is building a new railway to the Lagos ports to enhance the evacuation of cargo. Currently, trailer parks are under construction to take trucks off the road, while barges are being used to move cargo on inland waterways.