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The most important effort the government is currently making to address the challenges around Apapa Port is to improve infrastructure and the call up system, Yemi Osinbajo, vice president has said during an assessment of the state of work today.
These key things, he said, will enable easy movement and access to the port without pressure.
The vice president in the company of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos state governor and Hadisa Bala-Usman, Nigeria Ports Authority managing director said to achieve the best and most efficient infrastructure, its effort will not be pressured by timeline.
“We must never forget that this port is really meant for about 34 million metric tons (mmt) of cargoes. But it is now doing well over 80 mmt,” Osinbajo said.
“So there are several things we are doing to make it easier to use this road and also for the entire import and export experience. Also the rail link from the Port which is part of the Lagos-Kano railway from Apapa is an important transportation system out of the Port. There are lots of cargoes to move by rail.”
Giving his assessment, the vice president who seem impressed said there has been considerable improvement in clearing of trailers on Apapa road, although admitted that difficulties lie at the Mile 2 end of the road.
His projection was that the Mile 2 end issues would be resolved in the next couple of days, particularly with the opening of the Tincan Island Trailer Park and the palliative work ongoing from Apapa to Mile 2. The trailer park was built with a capacity to accommodate 700 vehicles.
In terms of mid to long term measures of decongesting cargo traffic in and out of the port, he expressed optimism that projects such as the Lekki Deep-Sea Port, Tincan Island, Warri Port dredging and use of barges by the Nigerian Port Authority will support efforts to ease business operations.
There is obviously a need to find alternative and expand where that is possible.
The Lekki Port is an ongoing project and we expect that to be a great helpto supporting the Apapa and Tincan Island port. We are dredging the port also.
“Congestion largely is caused either by problems space. We are dealing with a port that is doing far beyond its capacity. The best way of understanding this is that there are several aspects of the task that has to be done. First there is infrastructure,” he said.
The vice-president’s tour touched Lilypond terminal, Creek Road, Tincan Island and the Mile 2 access. Some locals and domestic workers around the port were quite disappointed that security forces robbed the vice-president of the opportunity of sharing in their pains by clearing most access routes and maintaining order within the period of visit.