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Strong indications have emerged suggesting that with the early completion of ongoing construction activities along the Apapa ports access roads, businesses at the ports especially terminal operators will rise exponentially from next year.
Before now, stakeholders in Nigerian maritime industry had continued to decry that dilapidated access roads have remained a clog in the wheel of efficient ports operations due to prolonged traffic congestion.
In his remarks while unveiling new $20m investments in equipment to upgrade capacity, Group Managing Director of Sifax Group, Adekunle AbdulRazak Oyinloye said: “We are only hopping that very soon the obstruction caused by the bad road will be minimised so that efficiency can actually come to play. You could see by what we have demonstrated today that turn around at the port can only be optimised when you have good access roads. There is nothing we can do if the road does not get better. We are pleading with the Federal Government of Nigeria that whichever ways we can work together to make sure that the access roads to the ports are improved as soon as possible.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, John Jenkins, said there was a need to acquire the latest equipment in order to meet the architecture requirements of modern ship calling the terminal, noting that the company was already engaging several shipping lines to boost its clientele base.
In her goodwill message, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, represented by Assistant General Manager, Operations, Aisha Ali Ibrahim, said the NPA has always supported laudable investment in the ports, adding that for any port to attain efficiency, it needs not only a good number of plants and equipment, but also quality and productive one.
She expressed optimism for better performance from the terminals in the years ahead, while urging other terminals to also invest more in the sector.
Also speaking, President, National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Agents, (NCMDCLA), Lucky Amiwero, said operators, particularly the indigenous ones must be encouraged, and urged government to fix the ports access roads to enhance operations and guarantee return on investment.
He also urged the government to provide truck parks outside, and build a holding bay around the ports to reduce congestion on the roads.
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