•Laments non-development of eastern port
By Godfrey Bivbere and Providence Adeyinka
The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria, CREFFPON, has alleged that the Apapa gridlock is designed as extortion scheme perfected over time by vested interests.
Consequently, CREFFPON urged the Federal Government to take intervene effectively on the situation in the ports to stem the economic consequences of the scheme.
A letter to the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarders, CREFFPON stated: “We urge the Federal Government to widen and focus its searchlight on the port industry. Equally, it should consider the need to evolve a new shipping policy to cushion these thriving acts of extortions.
“Else how can it be said that a government which has an oversight function over the concerned agency never queried nor sacked the management team of the concerned agencies over its gross failures and lack of deploying prompt managerial capacity with regards to ports infrastructural forecast, planning, and maintenance objectives. It cannot be said a seasoned management team suddenly forgot that the Apapa port access road is prone to high import volume, increased vehicular, cargo movement activities and waterlog prone as well.
“Obviously administrative road capacity forecast and planning in the face of yearly increasing Cargo traffic failed. Wherefore, it is common sense to know that, the so-called Apapa gridlock can best be described as man-made with a motive as unfolded.”
CREFFPON also expressed misgivings over government’s position on eastern ports and decongestion of Lagos ports.
In the letter it stated: “The CREFFPON duly noted the Federal Government thoughts as canvassed through one of its agencies and the ministry of Transportation having declared the Eastern ports as not being economic and operational viable seems to be a position taken by the government at the heel of urgent calls and clamours by the importing public and port stakeholders for the diversification and decentralization of shipping operations to the Eastern Port. Doing so in the face of an obvious congested, choked and saturated western ports operation; with its rapid dilapidating and decaying ports and road infrastructures.”