By Godwin Oritse, Vanguard News Nigeria
There are indications that the protracted congestion at the Lagos seaports may have started pushing exporters to the Eastern ports as more exporters move their export cargoes through Calabar port.
Vanguard News Nigeria learned that a total of 80 containers of raw cocoa beans export have been loaded through the Calabar port.
Although there were no records of such exports in January, the port also resumed the ferrying of passengers by boats to neighboring communities and Cameroon.
As of the 15th of February, three passenger boats had been loaded with both passengers and cargoes from the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, jetty, and Hudson jetty all in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
Reacting to this development President of the Cocoa Farmers Association Nigeria, CFAN, Comrade Adeola Adegoke, told Vanguard News Nigeria, that the congestion in the Lagos ports pushed some exporters to the Eastern port to meet up with their delivery timelines to their customers abroad.
Adegoke also said that the congestion in the ports in Lagos has brought untold hardship and financial losses to exporters as the cocoa beans spend as much as two months in the ports waiting to be loaded onboard vessels.
He stated, “If you are observant, you would have been aware that a lot of exporters have been complaining about the congestion in the Lagos ports in the past two years or so.
“This development has caused a lot of financial burden on exporters and led to extra cost for the exportation of cocoa. This has also made some of our exporters move to Calabar port and they have gotten the necessary approval which has also led to massive shipment of cocoa beans through Calabar.
“This is exactly what is happening in the meeting with signed contracts between exporters and their clients abroad.”
Meanwhile, the cargo movement data, otherwise known as shipping position, obtained, from the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, also shows that wheat, (raw material for the production of flour and other staple foods) has continued to lead Lagos ports import chart as a total of 176,646 metric tons have been scheduled to arrive within this month as against 178,358 metric tons in January representing a drop of 0.9 percent.
Other commodities that made the top import chart include sugar, which recorded 67,000 metric tons against 49,000 metric tons in January.
Recall that the confectionery industry experienced a boom in the first quarter of 2021 as wheat, the major condiment for bread and other confectionery, led the import chart with a total of 178,358 metric tonnes.
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