…As Stakeholders decry delay, gridlock on Lagos ports’ access roads***
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has raised concern about the long time frame experienced in the course of transactions at the Lagos ports due to congestion.
Mr Seleem Adegunwa, Chairman, MAN Ogun Branch, made this known at the 12th MDs/CEOs Annual Business Luncheon in Ota, Ogun.
The luncheon is themed: “Lagos Ports Congestion: An End In Sight? An Analysis of the Economic Cost to Industries in Ogun State and Exploring Viable Options’’.
Adegunwa called for better infrastructure, affordable power supply and an enabling regulatory environment to promote success of manufacturing sector.
He noted that to record successes in manufacturing and industrialisation, various factors must be considered to address the challenges encountered with the movement of raw materials to and from the ports.
“In Nigeria today, it is a known fact that access into and even exit out of the Lagos Ports by trucks and containers has become a herculean task.
“The time frame for clearing of raw materials and machinery of our members has tripled and so also the cost.
“The myriad of bureaucratic bottlenecks involved, all due to the massive congestion of our ports.
“Goods meant for export are delayed in traffic congestion, both on the roads and at the ports while members pay demurrage for the delay,’’ he explained.
Speaking on government interventions, Adegunwa advised stakeholders and organisations to do their part by abiding by the structures to be put in place to ensure the success of the system.
Mrs Hadiza Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) decried the traffic situation, saying that it had been challenging with the attendant national and economic impacts.
Usman, represented by Dr Uche Ikechukwu, Chairman, Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) Forum, Lagos Maritime Security Zone, outlined various initiatives by the NPA to address the problems caused by the Apapa traffic situation.
She mentioned the introduction of call-up system for trucks accessing the ports and the establishment of various taskforces aimed at ensuring free flow of traffic, among others.
“The economic implications and multiplier effects of the impact to the ports authority, stakeholders of Lagos, the maritime industry and the nation at large cannot be overemphasised.
“However, various initiatives have been embarked upon by the NPA to address the problems of the Apapa gridlock,
“Shipping companies have been directed to send sweepers to evacuate empty containers from the ports.
“Shipping companies without holding bays have been mandated to do so or face the risk of denial of service,’’ she said.
Usman said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with APM Terminals aimed at moving containers through barges at Epe was now operational.
She noted that movement of containers through Ikorodu Lighter Terminal was still ongoing.
Usman reiterated the commitment of NPA, the Federal and State Governments to end the Apapa gridlock and promised ease of movements into various locations in no distant time.
She recommended improvement of structural infrastructure to help ease the pressure at the ports.