The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) on Thursday identified lack of infrastructure as one of the factors responsible for low cargo throughput in the Eastern ports.
The NPA Managing Director, Ms Hadiza Usman, who made the observation at the Nigeria Port Consultative Council meeting in Lagos, identified insecurity, depth of the ports and roads and rail infrastructure in states where these ports are located and links roads to warehouses within and out of the area as challenges.
Usman said that for the Eastern ports to attract cargo, there must be improvement on infrastructure that would aid port transaction in the zone.
“There is no need for shippers to en route their cargoes to places where they will find it difficult to reach their warehouses and end users.
“There has been this issue of restiveness in the area and no investor will like to toy with his or her goods, hence the prefer Lagos ports where security is guaranteed unlike in the eastern ports.
“Calabar port is strategically located to be able to service the North-East and the North-West, but the linking roads to the areas from calabar is bad. Articulated vehicles cannot ply the route,” Usman said.
She appealed to the relevant government agencies responsible for infrastructure related development to assist the authority in the provision of the needed infrastructure for smooth cargo operations in the zone.
The managing director also called on the coastal communities to ensure security and less restiveness among the youths in order to attract investment in their area.
Usman assured investors that the authority was working in partnership with the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police to restore sanity on Nigerian waters.