Technology, infrastructure upgrade can eliminate Apapa gridlock – logistics experts
Worried by the economic impact of persistent traffic gridlock in and out of Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports on cost of doing business, logistics experts have identified introduction of smart technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag on trucks coming to Apapa as a sure means of eliminating gridlock.
They also pointed to the need for Nigeria to rebuild its logistics infrastructure in order to salvage the economic loses of over N3.46 trillion per annum, according to the estimation of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), which was blamed on poor infrastructure, poor policy implementation and corruption.
Speaking to BusinessDay on the sideline of the launching of the 2018 edition of the Nigerian Logistics and Supply Chain report, Obiora Madu, director general of the African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC) publishers of the report, said RFID tag has the ability to isolate trucks that have business at ports from those looking for business.
“To address Apapa problem, we need to rebuild our road infrastructure. There has to be a way of isolating vehicles, which has business in the port and those looking for business. If we have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag on those trucks that have business, it will become easy to isolate them. This is happening practically everywhere and we really have a lot of work to do in Nigerian ports,” Madu said.
Madu, who said that Nigeria is presently ranked 110 in the global Logistics Performance Index (LPI) Published by World Bank in 2018 showing that many small African countries are presently ahead of Nigeria, attributed the poor performance to poor access to port, delay in port transaction, and poor logistics infrastructure.
“We got to where we are today because the roads were neglected and the rails actually died literally. Our aviation industry is obviously not the best. We killed our national line which was the nation’s pride. Our government has refused to realise the implications of all this. Government provides infrastructure. Recall that the prime minister of Malaysia said that since they built a highway that cut across the north and south, that Malaysian economy never remained the same,” Madu explained.
Madu, who further noted that Nigeria has infrastructural deficit of over 40 percent, said that Nigeria needs to have a national logistics policy that would ensure integration of the transport infrastructure and helps to put square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes.
Sonny Allison, executive chairman of GMC logistics, said imported goods are cheaper than locally manufactured goods due to high prices of transporting containers from the ports, which have gone up in some cases by over 600 percent.
“With 40 percent deficit in infrastructure availability, Nigeria’s quest for development begins under the water, as we first have to overcome that deficit before we begin to compete globally. Produce (import and export commodities) go bad because waiting time at our ports are indeterminable. In a bid therefore to speed things up, the premium for access to the ports goes up. As it is with exports, so it is also with imports,” Allison said.