The General Manager of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Western Ports Apapa, High Chief Kayode Michael Ajayi has expressed concern at the attacks on Terminal Operators by unwholesome elements through the waterfront due to lack of adequate security.
The new GM on assuming office embarked on a two-day familiarization tour last week, to acquaint himself with his new designation and solicited for the co-operation of Terminal Operators and staff of NPA with the intent of identifying their challenges and mutually finding lasting solutions to them.
When Ajayi with his management team visited the Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL), ENL Consortium Limited, Eco Support Services Limited, AP Moller Terminals (APMT), Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL) AND Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), security topped the list of the challenges faced by the Terminal Operators Closely followed by the deplorable state of the Apapa access roads and electricity.
At GDNL the Ports Manager, Alhaji Isa Bukar after welcoming the GM thanked the NPA for their support and encouragement but expressed dismay that while there is security within the ports there has not been much improvement at the waterfront.
According to him “we acquired patrol boats in our little efforts to keep these bad people at bay but could not continue because of the rains as the boats are not working.”
Ajayi assured that attacks from the waterfront is being addressed frontally he said “we are liaising with security agencies to use police boats which we will fund and maintain to increase their patrol on the waterfronts in addition to proposal for new boats.”
He added that two tug boats are on ground also but are presently having challenges with customs for the clearing and he intends to meet with meet with the Customs to discuss on how to quickly facilitate4 the release within the shortest possible time.
On the electricity the GM promised that NPA has plans to provide a 250KVA generating set for port lighting “we are working with headquarters and very soon before the year runs out we will be able to do that” he said.
The highlight of the tour was the inspection of the waterlogged Apapa Expressway, where Mr. Ajayi Lamented at the implication of the deplorable state of the road, in his words “It has so many grave implications, in fact the implications are many, for one, it is going to affect the Gross Domestic Product of the country, when the expected revenue is not derived, besides that, all the stakeholders are groaning, they cannot have access to the port, the port workers even resume work sometimes very late, that is not efficiency, “we are expected to work at the highest level of efficiency and service delivery, the ship waiting time, the turnaround time, the cargo dwelling time will all be affected by this, so he implications are so many. Even the revenue target for the Customs, I doubt if they can meet it with the state of this road, so there is need for those in charge to wake up and attend to this road because this is the major artery to the largest port in Nigeria.”
He called on FERMA, as the road falls in the purview of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, according to him “the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority would have done it if it has been given the freedom to do it, because we know the implication to our existence but at the moment we are handicapped. So we are calling on FERMA, we are going to liaise with them to get this done, you can see a fallen container on my left side, this is a temporary lake on an express road, it is a national disgrace.
All of us are change agent of this government and every Nigerian is an agent of change, we are going to ensure that we do this, we are going to interact with the officials that are supposed do this and bring it to their attention, there are agencies that are put in place to provide remedial measures for this kind of situation, the less activities in the port is the consequence of what we are seeing.”
Other terminals visited by the GM are Ports Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML), Tin can Island Ports, Josephdam Ports Services Limited Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited and Five Star Logistics Limited.