By Godwin Oritse
UNDERGROUND gas pipelines and paucity of funds have slowed down the pace of re-construction works on the Wharf – Apapa road, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has said.
Disclosing this at the weekend, during an inspection tour of the road, Usman expressed disappointment at the slow pace of work on the road, adding that whatever was needed to increase the pace of work will be made available to the contractors.
The NPA boss also said that she will be meeting with the officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement to ensure the fund needed to keep work going will be made available.
“The level of work is unacceptable. I will meet with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Bureau of Public Procurement and see how the pace of work on the road can be hastened.
“The quality of work done so far is satisfactory but the time within which the work must be completed is now the issue and I will keep inspecting the project every four weeks.
Besides the issue of funding and underground gas pipelines, officials of the Ministry of Works also said that the rainy season, traffic management issues, security, logistics and supplies which are usually delivered at night were also causing challenges to the ongoing work.
She added that the role of Holding Bays in decongesting the traffic grid lock in Apapa is critical, pointing out that a licensing regime on the subject is being perfected between the NPA and the Lagos State Government to enable operators in this regard to have access into the ports and function under guided directives.
She disclosed that the deployment of an electronic devise in the management of access into the ports- through Biometrics mechanism was under-way and appealed to stakeholders and residents in and around Apapa to be patient while the road reconstruction lasts.