Nigeria has lost N6trn to Apapa gridlock â€“ OPS
The Organised Private Sector (OPS), yesterday, called for urgent infrastructure development at the Lagos ports. OPS said Nigeria has lost about N6 trillion across different sectors, due to the Apapa gridlock.
The OPS, under the aegis of the Nigeria Employersâ€™ Consultative Association (NECA), said this at its 62nd Annual General Meeting in Lagos, yesterday, and added that there is an urgent need for policy reform for businesses to operate optimally. NECA Second Vice President, Mauricio Alarcon, said operational hiccups being experienced at the port remains, even after one year of the Presidential Executive Order to promote transparency and efficiency on operation. Survey by the OPS showed that Nigeria lost about N3.06 trillion on non-oil export and about N2.5 trillion earnings annually across the different sectors due to the Apapa gridlock,â€ he said. Alarcon said the Federal Government should look at reforms that would significantly impact on the economy now that the elections are over. There is the need to fast-track infrastructural development at the Lagos Port, diversification programme, a market-driven foreign exchange management, sustain and significant reduction in the cost of governance. Government should also fast-track passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, a market-driven electricity supply and billing system,â€ he added. The NECA boss also said government should reform the oil and gas sector by removing subsidy on petrol, which he said, gulps about N1 trillion annually. Alarcon looked at the countryâ€™s security architecture and urged government to urgently tackle insecurity that has already increased unemployment and poverty in the country. Unemployment surged from 9.0 per cent in 2015 to 23.1 per cent in third quarter of 2018, while inflation remains high in spite of tight monetary policy conditions. There is also spread of poverty. The economy needs to recover, he noted.