Operators worry as collapsed Tin Can – Coconut Road cripples port business
by Uzoamaka Anagor-Ewuzie
November 8, 2017 | 12:35 am| | | Start Conversation
As the bad state of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, the major road into the two biggest seaports in Nigeria (Tin-Can Island and Apapa), continues to take toll on businesses at the ports, terminal operators have expressed worry over the total negligence of the road by Federal Government.
Taiwo Afolabi, Group executive vice chairman of SIFAX Group, a terminal operator in the Tin-Can Island Port, who raised an alarm of an impending doom at the port following the deplorable state of the road, urged the government to quickly intervene in fixing of the Tin-Can/Coconut road to avoid the impending shut down of port operations especially at the Tin Can Island Port.
“The Tin-Can/ Coconut axis of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway has become almost impassable as many portions of the road now have large craters and ditches. This sorry state of the road has made evacuation and delivery of containers and other consignments by heavy-duty trucks a tortuous experience. Also, port users on daily basis, groan under the weight of this unbearable condition,” he said.
According to him, if the road is not quickly fixed, the looming danger of port congestion, which will negatively affect port operations and the country’s economy, would surface.
“I urge the government to quickly fix the Tin-Can/ Coconut road, even if it was just to execute some form of palliatives to make the road motorable. The Tin-Can road has completely broken down and created attendant chaos experienced by port users on a daily basis.
As a terminal operator that runs bonded terminal outside the port, Afolabi lamented that moving containers from the port to Ports and Cargo bonded terminals at Okota and other surrounding areas, has now become an uphill task.
“When one is coming to Tin-Can Island Port from Mile 2, the person will be lucky to make it in six to eight hours, a journey that normally takes 30 minutes. In some cases, the road would be completely blocked with no visible movement for hours, thereby taking a whole day to complete a journey of 30 minutes,” he said.
The SIFAX boss however stated that many agents could no longer deliver on their promise of ensuring timely delivery of cargo to the importer’s warehouse.
“We want the government to intervene urgently and save the industry from this serious infrastructure crisis. A palliative at this time is needed, even as we look forward to a more sustainable solution to the road problem in Apapa and other deficient facilities around the port,” Afolabi added.
Afolabi, who blamed the dwindling Federal Government revenue on the deplorable state of the port access roads, said that immediate intervention in fixing the roads will see a significant rise in the revenue being accrued to the Federal Government.
“When the road is fixed, there will be an increase in vehicular movement in and out of the ports. Consignees will quickly move their goods out of the port and will come back to get more goods, this will help increase the revenue being generated by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other relevant agencies at the port”, he added.
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