Sources have revealed to Naijauto that cashew nuts weighing up to 50,000 tons at an estimated value of $300M or N108.1 billion have been delayed for shipment at the Lagos ports. The reason for this has been attributed to the lack of efficiency as well as the heavy traffic that has become a trademark of the Lagos ports.
This delay in shipment has become a worrisome case for traders as their cash investments have been tied down, causing them frustrations. The president of Nigeria Cashew Exporters Association, Tola Fasheru, said the fruits were from last year's harvest that should have been exported by January this year, but for the Apapa port gridlock situation which has kept them in containers and unable to access the ports till now.
The usually blocked Lagos port roads are locked down with numerous trucks trying to gain access to either drop-off or pick-up goods. This situation is even made worse with the ports' deficient infrastructures, unnecessary red tapes and opportunistic corruption going on at the Lagos ports. Fasheru insists that these are the factors that hinder the smooth process of exportation in Nigeria.
Cashew nuts are one of the targeted alternatives to oil for President Muhammad Buhari's administration!
“There is a palpable lack of synergy among the port operators and this is affecting the business of our members,”
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,”
There is the likelihood that the 260,000 tons' target might not be met due to this reason, and as such will signify a shortfall for the season which usually runs from February to July.
“Not one single cashew exporter is in the field now as he is owing on contracts and as a result has no money to operate with,”
Fasheru had revealed.
This is a common scene on Apapa gridlock
Nigeria, the sixth largest exporter of cashew nuts in Africa had targeted a 500,000 tons increase in export by 2023. The strategic five-year plan according to the National Cashew Association of Nigeria took effect from 2018.
This is expected to be in line with the plans of President Muhammad Buhari led administration which plan to reduce the economy's dependency on crude oil as it took a plunge in price in 2016. Though Nigeria is Africa's producer of crude oil, it is, however, taking steps to diversify its economy through other sectors like agriculture.
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