Stakeholders in the maritime have appealed to the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman to repair the dilapidated port access roads that have made access to the ports very difficult for operators and other port users.
The President of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero made this appeal in a letter sent to NPA and disseminated to the media.
Amiwero lamented that since 2007, the roads connecting the major ports in Lagos such as Tin can Island, Apapa, PTML, Brwal and Liliypond haven’t been easily accessible to port users due to bad roads, pot holes and gridlocks of tankers and trucks.
He stressed that this anomaly negates the port facilitation agenda of the NPA even as he noted that it has also led to high cost of port operations and processes.
“The neglect is a serious setback to the Nation, as the bad Port access road and the gridlock constitutes almost 25% of the causes of cumbersome port process and high clearing cost within the Lagos Port areas, which accounts for 70% of total cargo throughput within Nigeria” the letter read.
Lucky Eyisamiwero said that the state of the port access roads not only poses huge threat to lives and properties but also results to endless traffic congestion, causes daily accidents and aids the operation of armed robbers.
He also mentioned that Tin Can, PTML, Brwal, Apapa and Lilypond are obviously surrounded by numerous oil tanks farms and oil tankers which put the port environment at risk of fire disaster.
Similarly, truck owners under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have also called on the newly-appointed Managing Director; Ms Hadiza Usman Bala to provide solutions to the failed corridor connecting the ports.
The Executive Secretary of NARTO, Comrade Aloga Ogbogo in a chat with journalists in his office last week, maintained that there is a fund domicile in Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for road rehabilitation.
Ogbogo added that the N10,000 collection by the agency for truck standardisation is illegal, adding that the 7% development fee is meant for all roads linking the ports, he called on the new boss of NPA to investigate usage of the fund.
“NPA collects 7% development fee and that fee is meant to develop port access roads and as we can see today the access roads are no go area yet we say the ports are the gateway to the nation economy”
He however urged the new MD of NPA to set a legacy for herself considering the deplorable state of the roads linking the two seaports in Lagos State, saying that the roads are in a complete state of disrepair.
The Managing Director of Ports & Cargo Handling Services, Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu has also added to the call for the repair of the ports access roads.
Bulangu, at a recent press conference organized by SIFAX, told MMS Plus correspondent that the deplorable state of the port access roads was one of the major challenges facing the Ports &Cargo Terminal and he emphasized that the onus was on the NPA to fix the roads.