The lingering gridlock on the Apapa Road leading to the nation’s ports complex is adversely affecting revenue generation from the ports. According to Abdulraman Lamina, acting Port Manager of Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa, the gridlock has increased cargo dwell time at the ports, which has also affected the turnaround of ships. The state of the road has remained a major concern to port users.
Lamina decried the state of the Wharf Road, saying it had reduced the port’s revenue by half. “Presently, the Wharf Road is not motorable and it has affected the cargo dwell time at the port. Ships cannot come and our revenue fell by about 50 percent. Vehicles cannot take delivery and those that go into the port cannot come out because of the traffic. All the palliatives we are getting from our customers are no more coming because they have done that in the past and there is no solution to it so that is the situation along the Wharf road Apapa,” he said.
The Port Manager, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC), Babatunde Longe said that the gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway has shut down operations at the port. He disclosed this when the General Manager, Western Ports of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Michael Ajayi toured the facility.
Longe, who accompanied the General Manager to inspect failed portions of the road said: “The repair of the road is beyond Tin Can Island Port. We expect government to come to our aid because it has stopped port operations. Government should repair the road so that stakeholders that have left can come back to work.”
The Western Ports General Manager admitted that the roads leading into and out of the Apapa area have become a nightmare and a concern to everyone. “All stakeholders are groaning because they have no access to the port. The gridlock has affected efficient service delivery and efficiency. The ship waiting time, cargo dwell time and turnaround time have been affected and so the implications are many. Even the revenue targets for Customs, I doubt if they can meet it with this state of the road. There is need for those in charge to wake up because this is the major artery to the largest port in Nigeria,” Ajayi said.
Meanwhile, Truck drivers operating at the Tin Can Island Port Complex have accused the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) security and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) of what they called “high level extortion” on the port access roads. One of the complainants who simply identified himself as Musilui Akinlad said that the security agents demand for bribes ranging from N2, 000 to N5, 000 from truck drivers eager to access the port.
By Pita Ochai