By Godwin Oritse
THE managements ofÂ the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Grimaldi (operators of the PTML Terminal) group are currently at logger heads over the repairs of badÂ port access roads following the incessant loss of lives and properties as a result of containersÂ falling of f trucks.
Sources close to the Tin-Can Island port Command disclosed that plans by the management of the Grimaldi group to fix the access road between PTML and the Tin-Can port were rebuffed by the NPAâ€™s management for undisclosed reasons.
Speaking to Vanguard on the effect of the bad roads to the operations of the port, the Commandâ€™s spokesman Mr Chris Osunkwo said that a total of twenty-five (25) people have died as a result of these container falling on port users and vehicles
He stated that these accidents are caused by the deplorable state of the roads which have become a source of worry toÂ Â stakeholders .
Efforts to get comments from Mr Adriano Gereto Managing Director of the Grimaldi group was futile as he was said to be attending a meeting.
Mr Illya Musa Assistant General Manager in charge of the Public Affairs department of the NPA said that he was not aware of Grimaldi plans to repair the port access roads, but added that the authority has placed advert for the repair ofÂ all the port access roads within and around the port areas.
Meanwhile two persons, a Customs officerÂ Â and a freight forwarderÂ narrowly escapedÂ death when two forty feet containers fell on them, chopping off the legs of the one of them. at the Tin-Can Island port.
The officers whose names Vanguard could not ascertain were immediately rushed to a hospital in Apapa with blood dripping from their bodies.
Confirming the accident to Vanguard, the Public Relations officer of the PTML Customs Command Mr Chris Ogbnna said that the sight of the injured officers was gruesome, adding that only God can save their lives if they survive the accident.
The officers according to Ogbonna were riding on a motor bike (Okada) when the truck with registration number XW 85 LSR going through the bumpyÂ port access road suddenly swayed to its right side and fell on the bike carrying the officers.
The containers it was gathered were carrying floor tikes It was also gathered that the officer who had his legs chopped off was actually on his to the hospital to received treatment as he was said to have taken ill,Â while his colleagueÂ was escorting him when the accident happened.
An Eye witness who saw the accident happened blamed it on the bad roads, adding that there is no day that containers do not fall on the port access road.
They were of the opinion that until the roads are fixed, port users will continue to experience these form of accidents.
Speaking to Vanguard on the state of the roads, Mr Lucky Amiwero a front line freight forwarder said that the current state of the roads has brought untold hardship to both port users and motorists alike.
He explained that the state of the roads have reduced the number of containers delivered on a daily basis from 300 to about 30n, adding that the Nigerian economy will be the worst affected if something urgent is not done to arrest the situation.