By Kenneth Jukpor
SIFAX Group has opened a new container terminal situated along the Ebute Metta Creek, Ijora, Lago Causeway, Ijora, Lagos, to facilitate exports and reduce the traffic gridlock that characterizes the Lagos port access roads.
The terminal which is along the coastline avails opportunities for barge operations for inbound cargoes from seaports as well as outgoing cargoes for export and return of empty containers.
The Managing Director of the new terminal, Mr. Paul Linden, in his business presentation during the commissioning, highlighted these advantages while expressing the readiness of the terminal to exceed the expectations of clients through the acquisition of modern cargo equipment.
Linden noted that the new terminal would address the need for expeditious export processes, reducing the logistics constraints which have led to spoilt exported products.
Speaking at the formal commissioning of the facility, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, said the company decided to invest in the facility to enhance the process of cargo evacuation from the ports.
Afolabi, who was represented by Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, said the new terminal, which would be a model and sits on an 11 acres of land, will leverage on technology and innovations to deliver an unparalleled customer experience as well as cutting-edge inland container services.
He said: “The SIFAX Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos is our modest response to a major issue in the maritime industry – access to Lagos ports. The logistics nightmare in Apapa occasioned by the traffic congestion experienced by port users compelled the group to look for a solution that addresses thus seemingly intractable problem. With this terminal, agents, truckers and consignees don’t have to go to the ports before getting their consignments cleared.”
On the unique advantages of the terminal, Afolabi said consignment would be transferred primarily through barges from both Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, adding that the good road network in the area also offers clients faster and efficient cargo clearing.
“Another key advantage of this terminal is that it is IT-driven. The Group has decided to invest in technology to sustain the business to our clients’ satisfaction.” Afolabi said.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, who was represented by Hon. Onari Brown, Executive Director, Marine and Operations, commended SIFAX Group for its solution-driven mindset and aggressiveness in pursuing the dream of getting the terminal ready for operations in record time.
She also promised the support and cooperation of the agency in terminal’s bid to realize the vision of the new business.
Princess Vicky Haastrup, Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium and Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) also lauded SIFAX Group for always being at the forefront of innovations in the nation’s maritime sector.
Eminent personalities such as Oba Fatai Oyeyinka, Ojora of Ijora land; Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police, Lagos; Adewale Adeyanju, President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and Mohammed Abba Kura, Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command graced the occasion.
SIFAX Group is a conglomerate with investments in Maritime, Aviation, Logistics, Oil and Gas, Hospitality and Financial Services sectors.