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Port users are currently lamenting on the failure to evacuate cargoes over the traffic build up around the seaport gates.

It was observed that the situation is worse around the Tin Can Island port gates where a huge number of trucks wait outside trying to gain entrance and get goods out.

Some of the operators who spoke with our correspondent said for the past three weeks, the terminals had been congested, resulting in traffic build-up at the gates.

It was gathered that container-bearing trucks could not gain access into the terminals for weeks to return empty containers because the terminals suffered cargo congestion.

“There are too many containers inside the terminals, because of that trucks bearing empty containers cannot go in.

“For the past three weeks, shipping lines have not been receiving empty containers,” an official of the Joint Council of Seaport Truck Operators, Road Transport Workers’ Union, Mr Godwin Ikeji, told our correspondent.

He lamented that the inability of trucks to go in to drop empty containers made the trucks carrying the containers stay on the road for months.

The result, according to him, is that a truck owner would lose the deposit he paid while carrying the cargo.

He said cargoes were in the terminals, accumulating demurrage.

Ikeji also berated the government for rehabilitating the roads around the seaports without taking into consideration the users of the road, lamenting that a whole port got locked down because of road construction.

He said the union had been calling for solutions to the situation and had received no positive response.

“They are not ready to address the situation. They only believe in setting up task force that has continued to harass, beat up, extort and intimidate drivers, destroying vehicles, all in the name of presidential task force.”

Also, the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, said the situation was making business very difficult for its members.

The agents said shipping companies did not have holding bays for their containers and as a result, it became a challenge to return them.

The Chairman of the Tin Can Island chapter of the association, Segun Oduntan, lamented that ANLCA members were paying huge amount of money in demurrage because of the cargo congestion.

Members of the association also reportedly threatened that if the situation persisted, they would embark on a protest that could shut down the seaports.

They said truck drivers were avoiding some shipping lines because they would not be able to return empty containers if they carry the cargo from such lines.

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