Cargo ships destined for Lagos are being diverted to other ports in the country due to congestion, port authority officials have said. Specifically they are being re-routed to harbours in the volatile Niger Delta area in the eastern part of the country.

Port congestion has long been a problem at Nigeria's commercial capital due to a combination of lack of berthing space, slow customs clearance procedures and forwarding difficulties. Recently local press sources have been reporting that the backlog is having a knock-on effect on local businesses, which are having to scale back their activities due to the lack of raw materials.

Around 85 oil tankers and cargo ships are reportedly waiting to berth in Lagos port at a cost of $20,000 per day.

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