The total value of trade realised at the seaports in the second quarter of 2019 increased by N260.6bn over the value recorded in the first quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics have shown.

The value of trade in the second quarter was N7.85tn against N7.58tn recorded in the first quarter. Export trade in the first quarter totalled N4.48tn while imports totalled N3.1tn. In the second quarter, export was N4.49tn while import was N3.35tn. From the data, it shows  that Nigeria exported additional goods worth N7.3bn in the three months from April to June.

On the other hand, imports witnessed high increase totalling N253.3bn in the three months ending in June. According to the NBS, the bulk of export transactions in Q2 was conducted through Apapa port, valued at N4.4tn, or 96 per cent, followed by Lilypond port which recorded N73.2bn and Tin Can Island port which recorded N6.9bn.

In terms of imports, Apapa Port also recorded the highest transactions valued at N1.84tn or 46.1 per cent. This was followed by Tin Can Island (N788.8bn or 19.7 per cent) and Port-Harcourt-3 (N444.3bn or 11.1 per cent), Calabar Port -N143.6bn, Port Harcourt-1-N80.5bn, Warri Port -N51.7bn.

In the first quarter, Apapa port accounted for the bulk of the export cargo, recording trade volume of N4.o6tn, or 89.6 per cent of total export transaction. This was followed by Port-Harcourt (3) Onne through which goods worth N298.6bn were shipped; as well as Tin Can Island which recorded exports worth N109bn or 2.4 per cent. Port Harcourt-1 recorded N11.5bn, Warri Port recorded N2.7bn.

In terms of imports, Apapa port also remained the leading port of operation in Q1 with transactions valued at N1.3tn or 34.5 per cent.  Port Harcourt (3) accounted for N882.3bn or 23.8 per cent while Tin Can Island accounted for N701.0bn or 18.9 per cent. Increase in trade volume in Apapa port compared to the other ports in Lagos is attributable to the rehabilitated 2-kilometre Apapa/Wharf road.

The project which began in 2017 June was jointly funded by AG Dangote Construction, Flour Mills and the Nigerian Ports Authority. It was completed in September 2018. Since the completion of the road, traffic flow has been smooth up to the Apapa port gate. Speaking about the improved situation of things in the area, the President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Adewale Adeyanju, commended the government for the work, saying that it had eased a lot of problems for operators in the area.

The National Coordinator, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Dr Osita Chukwu, said the improved traffic had restored business to the area and also brought down cost for people doing business at Apapa port. He called for speed in the ongoing rehabilitation of the Apapa/Oshodi and Mile 2 axis.

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