The tightened gridlock at the Nigerian Ports has become severe to the point that it allegedly costs more than $4,000 to truck a container 20km to the Nigerian mainland in recent times.
This is according to a News report by Financial Times today tagged, “Nigeria’s port crisis: the $4,000 charge to carry goods across Lagos.”
The report, however, cements previous takes on the recent issues at the Port terminals, as well as the sporadic increase in detention and demurrage costs which were reported by Nairametrics four days ago.
The report revealed that the gridlock at the port terminals has become so devastating to the point that business entities pay more than $4,000 to truck a 40ft container 20km to the Nigerian mainland recently, almost as much as it costs to ship a container about 12,000 kilometres from China.
According to Shanghai Containerized Freight Index data provided by Dutch shipping consultancy, Dynamar,
- The average spot rate this year to ship a 20ft container from Shanghai to Lagos is about $3,000.
- While it costs about $3,750 to $4,000 for a 40ft container. However, the current spot rate is $5,000.
In this same vein, the impact of the gridlock extends beyond monetary costs, as freight companies and operators have to wait more than a month off the coast before they can offload their goods in the port – roughly how long they spend in transit to Lagos from China.
What you should know
The gridlock has become a long-running crisis at the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, which are the main commercial entry points into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy.
The issues at the terminals, however, can be attributed to the weak state of the Country’s transport infrastructure as 90 per cent of cargo go by road.
However, the increased sea traffic since the closure of the country’s land borders to combat smuggling last year, the pandemic-induced economic slump and the recent unrest in Nigeria’s commercial capital have exacerbated the current issues at the port, as dozens of ships remain idle at sea, while hundreds of empty trucks sit in traffic for days or weeks, owing to the lack of automation.
It is important to know that the port’s capacity has not increased since 1997, even as Lagos’s population has roughly tripled. Nigeria imports a lot of raw materials and almost all finished goods, and the congestion is causing production delays for multinationals.
With the port area even more crowded at the busy year-end period, the Seaport Terminal Operators Association estimates that the congestion costs the country $55m a day in lost economic activity.
Steps taken to decongest the port terminals
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, disclosed that Trucks Park had been established in Orile, Lagos, to serve as a call-up centre for truck waiting to evacuate goods at the ports.
This, with the implementation of the electronic call-up system, which had been put in place for the evacuation of goods by the Port Authority for trucks accessing the ports, are expected to play major roles to help decongest the Ports.
- Recently, Nairametrics reported that the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, launched a new operation command centre built by terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa, to boost efficiency and service delivery in the maritime industry.
However, government has embarked on other projects to beef up the country’s infrastructure in a bid to decongest the port, including Public-Private-Partnership arrangement to build deep seaports.
One of them includes the Akwa-Ibom Deep Seaport, another arrangement of this kind is located 60km east of Lagos, where the Singaporean food company, Tolaram, and China Harbour Engineering Company are building a $1.5bn deep seaport. But it is not expected to be completed until 2022.
On-road infrastructure, one 35km stretch of road from the port is being refurbished by Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote’s construction company, in return for a tax holiday. More companies are also using barges to move containers to bonded warehouses, where they can clear customs away from the port.
NIMC says it has licensed telecommunication companies to provide NIN
The NIMC has said the agency has licensed telecommunications companies to register applicants who do not have NIN.
The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said the agency has licensed telecommunications companies to register applicants who do not have National Identity Numbers (NIN).
This measure is to help reduce the large crowd that besieges NIMC offices across the country for registration with the risk of contracting the Covid-19 disease.
According to a report from Punch, this disclosure was made by the Director-General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, while responding to an inquiry with respect to measures taken by NIMC to address the complaints made by citizens and the crowds at the commission’s offices.
Aziz pointed out that mobile network operators had been empowered to also give identity numbers. This is in addition to the licensing of the private and public organization by the commission to provide NIN.
The NIMC boss said, “We have licensed private and public sector organisations including telcos (telecommunications companies) so as to create more centres.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government had directed that telecommunication companies should block from their network, any SIM that is not registered with valid NINs with effect from December 30, 2020.
- However, following public outcry, the government gave 6 weeks extension to subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, and 3 weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2020.
- However, many Nigerians and organisations had called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs.
CBN disburses N106.96 billion to 27,956 AGSMEIS beneficiaries
The CBN has disbursed a total of N106.96 billion to 27,956 beneficiaries of AGSMEIS.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that it disbursed a total of N106.96 billion to 27,956 beneficiaries of Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
This information is contained in a recent communique from the last MPC report of the CBN.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the expansion of AGSMEIS beneficiaries to 14,638. In lieu of this, the recent figures show a remarkable improvement of an additional 13,318 beneficiaries.
The apex also revealed that it has disbursed a total of N2.0 trillion as at January 2021. Other key disbursements are;
- The disbursement of N192.64 billion to 426,016 households and small businesses under the COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF).
- The disbursement of N72.96 billion to the Health Care Support Intervention Facility, directly impacting about 73 projects which comprises of 26 pharmaceutical projects and 47 hospitals and health care services projects in the country.
- In a bid to support the provision of employment opportunities, the apex bank provided financial support of N3.12 billion to 320 beneficiaries under the Creative Industry Financing Initiatives and N268 million to 395 beneficiaries under the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.
- The apex bank also provided N18.58 billion for the procurement of 347,853 electricity reading meters to Discos, in a bid to support the National Mass Metering Programme.
What you should know
- The Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme is a Federal Government initiative aimed at supporting efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, with the long-run goal of achieving sustainable economic development and employment generation.
- With the CBN AGSMEIS Loan, one can access up to N10M at 5% per year without collateral.
President Buhari approves local production of helicopters by NASENI
President Buhari has directed NASENI, to collaborate with Dynali Company for the local production of helicopters.
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), to collaborate with Dynali Company, a Belgian Helicopter Manufacturing Company, for the local production of helicopters.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this directive was given by the President at the maiden edition of the meeting of the Governing Board of NASENI at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
While presiding over the meeting, President Buhari, who is also the Chairman of NASENI, directed the agency to work towards bridging the gaps in research and technology that keeps Nigeria waiting on other countries for supplies and solutions, especially in tackling challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic.
What President Buhari is saying
Buhari said the agency should play a more pivotal role in equipping the country during emergencies, while encouraging research, upgrading local skills, fabrication and international collaborations that would provoke growth in science and technology.
The President said, “The uniqueness of the mandate of NASENI as enshrined in its enabling law towards the actualisation and realisation of our development programmes such as the creation of Ten Million jobs; Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) and Post COVID-19 sustainability Plan.
“It is only deliberate deployment of Engineering, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI) using technology domestication and reverse engineering of capital goods.
“Making them available in Nigeria that can fast-track the realisation of our collective will to build capacity and reduce poverty among our teeming populace. The countries that are at the forefront of economic recovery have only one thing in common: investment and sustained research and development work in knowledge economy.
“Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the Technology and innovation gap between us and the developed World, which NASENI is strategically positioned to fill.’’
Going further, the President said in order to achieve its full potential, NASENI must be empowered through the provision of adequate financial, human and material resources and be given the autonomy and independence to engage in international partnerships to acquire the relevant technologies for socio-economic and industrial advancement of the country.
He said, ‘’In this regard, I have directed the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Federal Inland Revenue Service to commence remittance of funds approved by Law of the Agency.’’
‘’It is important to for members of the NASENI Governing Board to note that Agencies of Governments with a similar mandate as NASENI in many countries are directly under the supervision of their respective Heads of State and Government.’’
While making his own remark, the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, revealed that the agency had constructed electronic voting systems and was already working on locally produced jet engines and assemblage of passenger and military helicopters.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Buhari had earlier approved the reconstitution and inauguration of the Governing Board of NASENI on March 8, 2018, with a clear mandate to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which would be critical to Nigeria’s industrial development.
- NASENI was established in 1992 by the Federal Government following the recommendations of the White Paper Committee on the 1991 Report of a 150-member National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure comprising scientists, engineers, administrators, federal and state civil servants, economists, lawyers, bankers and industrialists.