In some cases, the persistent traffic is forcing significant lifestyle changes. Dapo Johnson, a broadcast intern who lives close to the port says his daily 45-minute commute to work has been extended by two extra hours while Dikachim Nwankwo, a digital brand and communications manager, has relocated to a more expensive Lagos neighborhood simply to avoid hours of traffic daily. “I barely had a life. It [traffic] was frustrating,” he says. “Rent and living costs are higher but this is better.”

For import-dependent businesses, the cost of the ongoing congestion is likely to run into millions of dollars. For instance, the Dangote Group, the conglomerate owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, estimates it may lose $41 million due to the gridlock at the Apapa port this year. One measure of the cost of the inefficiency is reflected in the costs of shipping goods to Nigeria as analysis on overseas cargo and freight costs by MoverDB, an online resource for international shipping, shows the cost of shipping both 20-foot and 40-foot containers to Lagos ports from New York is the most expensive in the world of the 47 major port destinations analyzed.

And the high costs are not based solely on distance either: shipping from New York to Nigeria is nearly double the cost of shipping to South Africa even though Nigeria is closer, by nautical miles, to New York compared to South Africa.

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