The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms Hadiza Usman, has urged AG Dangote, the contractor handling Apapa/Wharf Road to improve on its performance.
Usman made the plea after inspecting the Wharf access roads in company of her management team in Lagos on Saturday, noting that better performance would reduce the stress in doing business at the ports.
“The construction commenced on July 17 and they have not been able to reach the optimum performance as expected.
“They are still within one to two per cent completion stage and one to two per cent of what they required to deploy within this period.
“They have indicated the concerns and constraints they have around relocation of utilities, they have identified and found gas pipelines underneath the road works.
“They are working on relocating roads and they also identified electric cables and poles that need to be relocated and other forms of utilities.
“I had made them understood that their level of performance is unacceptable, they need to increase and deploy more efficiently,’’ Usman said.
According to her, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with the Bureau of Public Procurement to ensure that the construction company reviewed and approve accordingly.
She frowned at the level of construction being done on Apapa/Wharf road, adding that the level of construction was slow.
The NPA boss explained that the 2-kilometre road would be completed within a year as stipulated; adding that the concern expressed by the contractor would be resolved.
She said the authority had put in place an aggressive monitoring mechanism, saying that she would be visiting the site once a month to check the progress as well as any bottleneck within the construction area.
Usman asked the contractor to ensure he deployed all the equipment he promised to provide.
“Providing holding bay and trailer garages are very important to decongest Apapa/Tin Can Ports area.
“We are working with the Lagos State Government in licensing holding bays and ensuring that these holding bays provide services for the ports.
“The licensing regime will permit the owners of holding bays access to port locations,’’ Usman said.
She said the collaboration in decongesting the port would be between the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government.
Usman said without the establishment of a holding bay and trailer garages, the authority would not be able to solve challenges of traffic congestion along the port areas.
She said that NPA was working with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to rehabilitate all the ports access roads in the country to ensure level playing field and also to facilitate trade.
She said that NPA and the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing would develop a mechanism of funding all reconstruction and rehabilitation of ports access roads.
Usman also observed that the Apapa Port had been illuminated for 24-hour port operations and the authority was working toward an electronic gate system to stop touting within the ports environment.
The Project Manager, Mrs Kesha Olukorede, an official of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, said the major issue at the site was relocating the gas pipeline discovered on the round.
“We encountered gas pipeline in the course of the project which stopped the project for some time; we also encountered another gas pipeline in the middle of the road.
“As we speak, we are waiting for the owner of the gas pipeline to come to us to look for a way out.
“We want the owner of the pipeline to write an undertaking that in future, they have to cut the pipeline very well and restore it at their own expense,’’ Olukorede said.