By Victor Young
Immediate past President-General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and Chairman MWUN Advisory Council, Anthony Emmanuel Nted, has appealed to the federal government to quicken the repairs and reconstruction of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, to halt the economic loss the deplorable condition of the road is inflicting on the nation.
Nted who spoke at a social gathering to mark his 59th birthday on October 1, 2019 lamented the loss the nation is incurring as a result of the failed road, saying it is unquantifiable monetarily, as it had forced many port operators to either relocate to neighboring and more business friendly countries, or scaled down their operations.
“As a stakeholder in the ports, the access road to the ports especially the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway is in a terrible state, though the government is doing something now. They have started reconstruction from flour Mill to Apapa. The government needs to do something quick so that we can stop the loss. Because of the deplorable access road, so many vessels are being diverted to neighbouring countries. It did not start today; it has been in a bad state for a very long time. Importers and other businesses are relocating and scaling down their operations to minimize the loss. As a result, many vessels are being diverted to Cotonu, Togo and other friendlier neigbouring countries and Nigeria losing heavy revenue. The road needs to be fixed quickly so that we can reduce the loss to the barest minimum. “The losses to the government, business and residents of Apapa cannot be quantified in monetary terms. A vessel that ought to stay in the port for three days now stays for three weeks, one month, two months or three months incurring demurrage for operators.”\
Corroborating, incumbent PG, Adewale Adeyanju, lamented the deplorable state of the access roads to the nation’s ports, saying: “It has not been easy for the maritime sector, coupled with the bad roads that are affecting the economy.”
Most of the investors, as we have continued to say, are leaving to other countries close to us. We pray that the government will fix the road, not only Apapa and Tin Can, also other access roads in Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar. They are all in very bad shape