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NPA mobilized contractor handling Apapa Wharf road with N1.8bn in July

In its usual show of commitments to the ease of doing business at the ports and in line with its resolve to partner with the private sector including Dangote group and Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), the managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),  Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, in July released the sum of N1.8bn for the ongoing reconstruction of failed Wharf road.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday, the federal agency observed that the dilapidated state of the road, which has gone on for almost two decades has become a thing of concern to everyone transacting business in the Apapa area of Lagos including the Authority, whose prime facilities are located in this axis.

Messers AG Dangote Construction Company is handling the project and specifications show that the stretch of road for the outbound lane (Ijora Bridge-Barracks Junction) has been condoned off as work has commenced.

Already, as part of mitigating traffic gridlock being caused by the ongoing reconstruction,  the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman had set up a committee chaired by the General Manager, Western Ports on the decongestion of Port access roads for ease of vehicular movement.

This committee has representatives of the Lagos State government, the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Ports Police Command, and Department of State Security Services and other major stakeholders including truckers as mainly represented by the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO)

Besides, NPA further awarded the contract for palliative works on Creek Road to Messers CGC Nigeria Limited.

Palliative works was carried out on the damaged portion of the roadway and is now designated an alternative route in and out of the Lagos Port Complex. Further repair works were equally carried out on other alternative routes around the corridor

In another development, NPA has stepped up moves to relieve pressure on Wharf road during construction as the GM of the NPA Western Zone heads a committee of all Terminal Operators, Millers and other stakeholders which worked to fashion out ways of fixing the Tin Can axis route with enduring palliatives works while the wharf road construction is ongoing.

A major achievement of the committee is the identification and location of a number of privately owned sites suitable to accommodate a minimum of 6,000 trucks at any particular time.

To ensure that this initiative does not run into any institutional impediments, the committee engaged with land owners in the area and has established contacts with the Lagos State Government.

The Authority is also exploring the feasibility of deploying multimodal cargo haulage around the Apapa axis.

To this end, talks are on with the Nigeria Railway Corporation to encourage movement of cargo by rail to and from Apapa Ports and increase the frequency of evacuation since one train movement is equal to about 70 truck movements.

NPA has also gotten approval for the movement of cargo by barges over water as alternative to road transportation. The Authority is therefore, not just to working towards reducing congestion, but to also ensure that less pressure is put on the roads by enhancing opportunities to use other modes of transportation.