An armada of container-laden ships have become the lifeblood for sustaining the sprawling megapolis of Lagos and its look-alikes elsewhere around the country. Practically, everything required for life sustenance comes by sea or else Nigeria’s urban dwellers shall experience unmitigated hard times in a jiffy. This madness commenced during the oil-boom era of the 1970’s and has steadily worsened over the decades. Those who schemed on making the seaport of Lagos to function as the sole and exclusive importation hub for 160 million Nigerians can now see the full impact of their buffoonery. Dozens of ships form long queues awaiting their turns to offload their cargo at the extremely congested Lagos wharves as a matter of routine.
The ships enter Lagos with loaded containers and exit empty since Nigeria has absolutely nothing that is exported through this seaport. In other words, Lagos has functioned, since the Civil War, as the epicenter for draining the country’s foreign income earnings and nothing more. Everything that Nigeria ever requires to function, since the Civil War, have all come through the Lagos seaport which is located at the extreme western end of the country’s Atlantic coastline near the border with neighboring Benin Republic. From this location, imported goods bound for destinations like Onitsha, Aba, Uyo, Makurdi, Jalingo, Yola, Jos, Bauchi and even Maiduguri, which ought to have been better served by alternative seaports along the eastern Atlantic shores, are hauled over land by road. From simply economic theory, imported essential consumables like rice, sugar, palm oil, wheat, “bulk fertiliser, bulk gas, diesel, petrol and steel products” are much cheaper in Lagos than elsewhere at the goods’ final destinations in the hinterland.
Seaports of the Lower Niger, such as Warri, Port Harcourt, Bonny, Oron and Calabar are all relegated to the export of crude petroleum or otherwise they lie idle. Agricultural products, whose export used to be the mainstay of the economy of Nigeria’s 1st Republic, are virtually nonexistent today since the citizenry have their eyes trailed on getting the lion share of the proceeds from the almighty crude petroleum revenues. The food fight over revenues derived from the crude petroleum products of the Lower Niger dictates all the goings-on in Nigeria’s political economy. The Lower Niger’s resources constitute the metaphorical golden eggs of the Nigerian economy. But this territory is ruthlessly relegated during importation of the sundry goodies which provide whatever good life that contemporary Nigeria knows as we speak.
Everyone agree that Nigeria is terribly sick, but only a handful often make the required extra effort to understand the real pathology of the underlying malaise plaguing the country. Many, without much thought, readily blab “corruption” as the country’s Achilles heel. The underlying pathology for the country’s malaise is, however, a national credo that is steeped in INJUSTICE, greed and intolerance.
And there is a sure solution to the worsening mess. Sanitizing Nigeria of today can only begin to make sense through devolution since over-centralization has relentlessly led the citizenry down the path of perdition since May 1966. The Movement for New Nigeria (MNN) thoughtful recommendation, as depicted in the map below, is the sure means of getting Nigeria out of the stinking cesspool in which it is currently mired. The next logical step is for this judicious route to lasting equity to be ratified by the people’s referendums in the four emergent federations namely: the Yoruba, Lower Niger, Middle-Belt and Sharia Territory Federations. A simple vote of YES/NO is all it needs to put things back, once more, on an even keel. So, let’s get on with it
Forty-four ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are expected at the Lagos ports from Aug. 12 to Aug. 28.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) stated this in its daily publication ‘Shipping Position, made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
The document indicated that the expected ships contained general cargo, crude palm olein, bulk malt, base oil, bulk sugar and bulk rice.
It noted that other expected ships contained buck wheat, diesel, frozen fish, containers, bulk fertiliser, bulk gas, diesel, petrol and steel products.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 16 other ships have arrived the ports — waiting to berth — with petrol, steel products, general cargo and containers.
NAN reports that other ships in the ports are discharging containers and petroleum products. (NAN)