By Godwin Oritse
A group of freight forwarders under the aegis of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents yesterday decried the deplorable state of the access road to the ports, saying: â€œThe state of our roads is posing a great danger on the security of lives and property.â€
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, President of the group, Mr Lucky Amiwero, said the roads had gone so bad that the potholes and ditches on the roads make it impossible for trucks and port users to gain access into the port thereby creating congestion.
The development, Amiwero said, had caused endless traffic congestion and terrible waste of man hour especially along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.
He explained that the situation had created another dimension in the nationâ€™s port process, adding that the Nigerian ports had become the most expensive in terms of cost which is coupled with cumbersome and lengthy procedure.
In a letter to the Minister of Transport, the freight forwarder noted that the non-functional state of the drainage channels had led to the roads being flooded, a development that has aided the smooth and uninterrupted operation of armed robber.
Part of the letter read: â€œBad roads have hindered the clearance of goods and easy passage of port users into the ports. On a daily basis, trucks carrying containers loose their balance due to port hole, ditch and flood and they try to maneuver to beat these pot holes they fall on car and human beings.
â€œMost of the time, these trucks and containers are left on the spot for weeks thereby leading to total blockage of the port access road.â€
â€œPeople are beginning to run away from the ports because these truck owners do not want to endanger their vehicles anymore.
â€œIf the situation is not addressed as soon as possible, many importers and agents will abandon Nigerian ports and the economy will be worst for it.
â€œThis Apapa- Oshodi expressway is the only access roads linking the nationâ€™s five major ports and hindrance on that road could have devastating effect on our port system and by implication the economy.â€