Seaports remain scanty, freight forwarders decry huge demurrage

The two major ports in Lagos, Apapa and Tin Can Island, were on Monday without their usual buzzing crowds, three days after the elections were postponed. This is also as freight forwarders put the losses of the logistics sector at over $100m due to the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, February 16.
The operators explained that this was due to the fact that most people who travelled had put off coming back until after the polls that had been rescheduled for February 23.

While speaking exclusively to our correspondent on Monday, the Zonal Coordinator, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Dr Osita Chukwu, remarked that there was no work at the ports on Saturday and ships did not berth.

He said operators had worked half day on Friday in anticipation of the elections on Saturday.

He said, “Vessels did not berth because operators were not at work. Even fishing vessels were not allowed to operate at the creeks.

“Many people had travelled home on Friday to vote.

“Over 180 million Nigerians ended up sitting idle at home when the elections were postponed and each of them did not spend anything less than N5,000.

“Currently, most of them cannot come back to the ports because they cannot come back and go back again to vote on February 23.”

The Founder, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, said the cancellation of the elections had an impact on earnings in the sector.

He said, “Time is money and the port is very strategic.

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