Emmanuel Ihenacho, former Minister of the Interior and Chairman of Genesis Worldwide Shipping Limited urged the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) to redesign the Lagos Apapa Port Area to provide for truck holding bays, so as to end the gridlock on the port access roads.
The Chairman noted the importance of NPA administering an aerial survey around Apapa to encourage the redesign of the entire area, in order to create more stacking areas at the ports. Ihenacho said the initiative would effectively reduce and contain the perennial gridlock on ports access roads.
According to the former minister, “NPA should look at the property along Creek Road that are not in good use, meet their owners and pay them a commensurate compensation to take over the property. NPA should knock the property down and convert them to infrastructure such as stacking areas, holding bays and truck parks”.
He added that “If the NPA considers this suggestion of taking over some abandoned property around the ports area, I strongly believe that constant gridlock will disappear in Apapa ports”.
Ihenacho revealed that if the Ibom Deep Sea Port is properly funded and administered when it comes fully on stream, it would adequately accommodate goods going to the Eastern parts of the country. He suggested that it was imperative for the NPA to take advantage of infrastructure currently existing in Port-Harcourt and renew berthing facilities, so as to significantly reduce the berthing pressure in Lagos ports.
Ihenacho said the Lagos ports were presently over-utilised because the berth spaces were not increasing and the infrastructure were developed more than 40 years ago.
On the other hand, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, recently assured stakeholders in the maritime industry of its renewed vigour and determination at improving on its operational efficiency and accomplishments recorded in 2018 in the new-year.
Bala-Usman promised terminal operators and port users that the NPA would further open its doors for all players to surmount various bottlenecks, with a view to providing a healthy and smooth environment for all Stakeholders.
She also noted that the NPA has partnered with notable organisations and the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing for the reconstruction of dilapidated roads within the Ports axis for efficient Port Services across board.