By Providence Adeyinka
Until shipping companies are made to halt turning the country to a dumping ground for expired containers, the traffic situation in Apapa and its environ would not improve said Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, MacManuel Global Logistics Limited, said Emeka Enwelu.
He, however, commended the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, for introducing the Electronic Call-up system (EOP) to control vehicular traffic in Apapa, but warned that if shipping firms are not made to stop dumping containers on Nigeria the situation would still suffer hiccups.
Enwelu stated: “NPA is trying, but that is not the real issue. The shipping companies have turned Nigeria to a dumping ground for disused containers and that is why they are not keen to take them back to their home countries.
“Ordinarily, the shipping companies, after bringing in goods to the country, ought to take back some percentage of the containers to their home countries but they don’t do that because majority of the boxes have expired. So, it is better such containers are abandoned here in Nigeria. I think it is time the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC began serious regulation of their operations here in Nigeria”, he said.
He added that the traffic crisis could be attributed to the acts of omission of commission of the shipping firms, pointing out that they were supposed to establish holding bays for empty containers which never happened.
He advised that the construction firm should have been sympathetic to the plight of road users by opening up even if partially, some of the portions that had been completed rather than shutting both lanes to traffic in the midst of stranded cargoes desiring evacuation.
“I think the construction company handling, especially the Tin Can Island-Mile Two axis, should have been more sensitive to the plight of the people.
How can you block the two lanes of the road when work is almost completed? The right thing to do, I think, should have been to open it a little, even if intermittently to enable people and vehicles move freely. It’s not right to block the two lanes at the same time thereby leaving everybody to struggle for exit through the Apapa-Ijora axis”, the MacManuel Global Logistics Limited boss insisted.
Enwelu, who is also the Vice President, National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, said it is imperative for the authorities to take time to verify the claims of the companies of having such facilities on ground.