Lagos – Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, has urged the Federal Government to quickly repair the Tin-Can/Coconut port access road to avoid the impending shut down of operations at the Tin Can Island Port.
Afolabi made the plea in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday by the Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX Group, Mr Muyiwa Akande.
The SIFAX Group manages terminal `C’ of the Tin-Can Island Port.
According to him the road has become almost impassable as many portions of it contain large craters and ditches.
“”This sorry state has made evacuation and delivery of containers and other consignments by heavy-duty trucks a tortuous experience.
“”Other port users groaned under the weight of this unbearable condition.
““If the road is not quickly fixed, there is a looming danger of port congestion which will negatively affect port operations and ultimately, the country’s economy,’’ he said.
Afolabi urged the Federal Government to quickly fix the Tin-Can/Coconut port access road, ““even if it is just some form of palliatives”.
He said that that road had completely broken down, with attendant chaos experienced by road users on a daily basis.
“”Moving containers from the port to bonded terminals at Okota and other surrounding areas is now an uphill task.
““You will be lucky to make, in about six to eight hours, a journey that normally takes 30 minutes.
“”At times, the road would be completely blocked with no visible movement for hours. Many agents could no longer deliver on their promise to their consignees,’’ the terminal operator said.
He urged government to intervene urgently and save the industry from what he described as “serious infrastructure crisis.
““A palliative at this time will be in order, even as we look forward to a more sustainable solution to all the roads in Apapa and other deficient facilities in the port”, the terminal operator said.
Afolabi also noted that the quick intervention in fixing the Tin Can /Coconut port access road would result into a significant rise in the revenue being accrued to the government by relevant agencies.
He explained that the dwindling revenue of the government from the port is partly due to the deplorable state of the port access road.
““When the road is fixed, there will be an increase in the 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 in increasing the revenue being generated by the Customs and other relevant agencies at the port,’’ he said.