September 6, 2023

Ports collapsing, we must rehabilitate them — Minister


Gboyega Oyetola

By Godwin Oritse

THE Minister of the newly created Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has said the Lagos seaports are in dilapidation and called for urgent rehabilitation of the facilities.

Speaking in Lagos while on a tour of the Lagos Ports, Oyetola said that government will engage the terminal operators to see how the rehabilitation of the ports can be funded.
The Minister also said that he will engage the Minister of Works on rehabilitating the port access roads which are also dilapidated.

He stated: “I intend to go around and see things for myself and I have seen a lot of things, the challenges, need to activate a lot of things about our ports.

“The infrastructure is almost collapsing from what I have seen. So it is a major rehabilitation that has to be carried out. “However, I am impressed with the management of the NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) but we need to support them. I am looking forward to a situation where the terminal managers will be willing to contribute to the rehabilitation of the ports. So it is going to be a collaboration between the government and the terminal operators.

“I have asked them to let us have the report regarding the collapsed quay walls and what they have done so far. We need to know so that once we get approval from Mr. President, we will move to fix the quays.

“We need infrastructure to drive the Marine and Blue economy, if we have the right infrastructure in place, it will diversify the economy. We rely so much on oil. There are a lot of other opportunities that remained untapped for so many years. I must commend the President for thinking along this line. I believe we can do it.

“I think to avoid the collapse of the ports, we need to rehabilitate as a matter of urgency. Then dredging has to continue and then we can put all the other things in place”.

On the dilapidated access roads, he said, “ I believe it is proper to look at it and I am going to be engaging the Minister of Works and see what we can do together with the Minister of Transportation and with all these things, we are good to go. We are looking at the totality of the ports in Nigeria”.