Mr Chris James-Mba, a Customs Transport Broker, has urged Nigeria to ensure that vessels in waters sail with commensurate quantity of cargo and not to go back empty.
James-Mba, Chief Executive Officer, Ceemba Haulage said in Lagos while offering solutions to the Apapa gridlock.
He suggested that there should be proper transport management to halt the gridlock.
The transporter, who used to operate in Cotonou port, said that government’s tight economic measures against smuggling at the border posts gave rise to an upsurge in cargo throughput in Apapa port.
He said that some vessels still sailed back either empty or with small number of empty containers, leaving the ports and the terminals congested with empty containers.
“Many of my colleagues, who used to operate at the Cotonou port transporting goods meant for Nigerian markets were not finding it easy to operate there.
“We advised our importers not to rout their containers to Cotonou port but to use the Lagos ports to avoid being impounded in transit at the borders by security operatives.
“I relocated my business to Lagos in March this year when it became very difficult to transport clients’ goods to Nigeria through the borders.
“The same thing applies to most of my colleagues there,’’ James-Mba said.
According to him, the unprecedented Apapa gridlock is the result of the economic measures at the borders that made importers who used Cotonou port to come back to Lagos ports.
He said that if the Federal Government could give a directive that every ship should go back with the same quantity of containers it came with, the gridlock would be no more.