Inefficiency and traffic congestion at the Lagos ports are reported to be delaying the shipment of 50,000 tons of cashew nuts valued at $300 million.
The commodity should have been exported by January this year but are still trapped in containers on trucks waiting to enter the ports.
Roads to Lagos ports are badly congested with hundreds of lorries queuing to enter the port facility to either deliver or pick goods. In addition, inadequate capacity and infrastructure, stifling red tape and corruption are hampering export processes at the ports.
Some members of the cashew association have defaulted on contracts to the extent that foreign buyers are now walking away from them. “They are no longer willing to give us fresh contracts,” said the group’s president.
The delay is likely to affect the output target of 260,000 tons for the current season, which started in February and will end in July.
“Not one single cashew exporter is in the field now as they owe on contracts and as a result have no money to operate with,” said Fasheru, President of Cashew Producers Association.
Nigeria which is Africa’s sixth largest cashew producer plans to raise its annual production to 500,000 tons by 2023, according to a five-year strategic plan released in 2018 by the National Cashew Association of Nigeria.
The situation at the ports will likely frustrate the country’s efforts at boosting earnings from the non oil sector of the economy.