By Oko Ebuka
The recent discount on the cost of vessels calling at the Eastern ports by 10% that was granted by the Federal Government through Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), to enable the port become significant in the maritime business have been making waves, but the question still remains; is that enough to make the port functional and adequately compete with her counterparts in the Western part of the country?
The answer is purely negative because some other disturbing issues that can hinder the port to maintain the pace of becoming a world class port in subsequent years, have been shallowly handled.
There are other salient problems holding the possible functionality of the port which can affect the incoming of vessels even if the charges are totally removed from it.
According to NPA, they posited that the major challenges delaying the proper usage of the port is dredging, insecurity, non-maintenance of berths and infrastructural decay.
Furthermore, shallow channels of the eastern port have become a very pertinent issue because large vessels always find it difficult to pass through the seaport unlike in the Western ports.
In a financial survey carried out by Vanguard Maritime Report, on August 15, 2018, it shows that importing goods from China to Lagos is cheaper as it costs $1,500 than shipping the same goods to Calabar which is going to cost between $4,000 and $4,500.
However, the efforts of the NPA should be intensified in order to decongest the populated Lagos port and bring about the proper ease of doing business across the country.