Cargoes trapped at ports as gridlock worsens.

Importers and manufacturers are currently groaning under the current congestion at the Lagos seaports with millions of cargoes currently trapped.

The importers and clearing agents in a chat with The Guardian urged the Federal Government to urgently find a solution to the intractable traffic along the corridor, which has crippled port activities.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed plans to deploy 200 new security officers to the ports to clear the gridlock.

Media Assistant to the Minister, Mrs Taiye Eleibo-Edeni, said there would be a steering committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mrs Magdalene Ajani, to seat monthly until the challenges are overcome. Other members of the committee would be drawn from NPA, NSC, maritime workers, safety organisations and the Lagos State Government.

In a statement, she said Amaechi had directed the committee to write to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to assign more officers for the assignment.

As the crisis at the port continues, a managing director of a beverage company told journalists that his company has run out of the substrate used in bottling one of its soft drinks

“We exhausted our stock and the container loads we imported arrived more than six weeks ago but have not been able to leave the port,” the managing director, who does not want to be identified, said.

Also, some traders who imported goods to sell during yuletide have had their cargoes trapped in the ports as the gridlock continues. They stand the risk of losing millions of naira if they are unable to sell the goods before Christmas, the traders said.

President, the Shippers Association of Lagos, Jonathan Nicol, also lamented about the situation, saying their businesses are in limbo due to the lingering challenge.

He appealed to the Federal Government to fix the roads and save the importers from frequent extortion by government agencies at the ports.

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