A strategic partnership that will pull resources together for the decongestion of Apapa and TinCan ports access roads is being worked out between the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babtunde Fashola.
This was revealed by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Usman during a recent familiarisation tour of terminals in Apapa, Lagos.
Already, construction giant, Julius Berger has been mobilized by NPA to site on some Apapa seaport access road. This happened shortly after the Minister had closed some section of the bridge linking the port from Ijora end.
Explaining more on how the partnership will flow, Ms. Usman said beyond road construction, NPA need to do more on decongesting traffic on port access roads in partnership with the ministry of works.
“When the stakeholders and key participants in the maritime sector are able to deploy the resources required, as this assignment is beyond the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), we will work with Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and Lagos State Government to ensure compliance,” she affirmed.
She said there is need for review of the concession agreement. “The issue around this traffic congestion might not be within the port complex, there is need to look outside the port complex and that way, we can regulate the traffic going into the port complex. So all this will be reviewed and that way we will determine what is applicable related to both inside and outside the port complex.
“Indeed Nigerian Ports Authority has premises, property that have been sited and allocations that are owned by the Authority that can be used to provide services of commercial rates where people will pay a minimal amount for our services; where they can keep their trucks pending when they are called upon to come and collect their cargo”. She said.
She said NPA is discussing with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment regarding the auto policy because federal government needs to review some of its policies to determine accruable benefits following the period of implementation of the automobile policy, adding “there is a need for government to look at it to determine the opportunity lost by them vis-à-vis the development of the automotive industry.”
She noted that though this is ongoing the NPA will sustain this discussion to ensure that in a timely manner, the government concludes the effectiveness of this policy and take decision on the way forward as relating to the revenue being lost within the Authority and also the development of the automobile industry
The visit to terminals at Apapa took her to Five Star Logistics, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, Joseph Dam, PTML, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Phase 1& 2 and Atlantic Fishery and Shrimpers.
At Ports & Cargo, a subsidiary of Sifax Group, the Managing Director, Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu told NPA MD of the operations carried out at the terminal and how it is handled. Hadiza commended the efforts of all the staffs and told them to carry on with the good works done at the terminal.