Over the last decade, Nigerian maritime port sector experienced concerted efforts by different stakeholders (Federal Government in collaboration with private sector and development partners) to reposition it for efficiency and global best practices.
For instance over the last two years, the present administration has focused on repositioning the ports through the National Action Plans on cross border trading coordinated by Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council (PEBEC) and the series of Presidential Executive Orders targeted at ports efficiency.
Previous governments, through different interventions such as the 2007 ports reforms led by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, also attempted to resolve the lingering challenges (i.e. infrastructure shortcomings, policy and regulatory inconsistencies, overlapping functions and duplication of roles among the MDAs, high incidence of corruption among port users, operators and government officials) militating against ease of doing business at the ports.
The past and ongoing reform efforts notwithstanding, the Nigerian ports continue to lag behind its pairs in West Africa and other parts of the world. Trading Across Border, a world bank indicator which measures the efficiency of ports rank Nigeria at 183rd out of 185 countries in 2017. Delay of Import/export processes, unofficial charges, human interface, technical breakdown and security concerns remain predominant in our ports and classified among the worst ports in the world.
We understand that the unhospitable operating environment of our ports will continue to hurt government’s aspiration to grow the non-oil sector and undermine the capacity of investors to maximise abundant trade and democratic opportunities in Nigeria. Consequently, The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in collaboration with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and a development partner, The Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) have been in the forefront of maritime ports reform through fact-based feedbacks, advocacy campaign and active stakeholders’ engagement.
This report provides an update to our 2016 report titled “Nigeria: Reforming the Maritime Ports” with highlights of the present realities in our ports and gaps in the implementation of recommended policy measures for the attention/action of PEBEC and other relevant authorities.
Estimates from the research show that about 10,000 direct new jobs in the maritime port sector and approximately 800,000 jobs in the industry can be generated over a two-year period given a more efficient and productive maritime port system in Nigeria. These estimates are potentially feasible under the assumption that the ports can double its 2017 non-oil volume of 1.3 million TEUs within a period of 24 months and from that point, grow consistently at 15-25% annually. Our estimate shows that 25% improvement in port performance will ultimately translate to 2.1% increase of GDP.
In addition, the research also finds that about 2.5 trillion Naira in revenue is lost annually within the business community due to inherent inefficiencies in the ports. This has huge adverse implication to tax revenue, job creation and real economic activities. We are certain that the successful implementation of recommended reform measures will reverse this leakage in the near term.
This report was compiled by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the support of the Center for International Private Enterprise. Download to read more.