Lagos – Mr Jonathan Nicol, President, Shippers’ Association in Lagos State (importers and exporters) has described the deplorable roads linking Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports as a national disgrace.
Nicol told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reviewing maritime activities for the week .
“1t is an international route and we have expatriates who are seeing the bad port access roads.
“ We have been talking about these access roads for more than three or four years.
“If you go the Tin-Can Island portion, you will see bad gutters and containers falling off from the trucks conveying them.
“ We urge the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to fulfill its pledge of fixing the bad port access roads,’’ the shipper said.
Nicol said if the access roads were good, there would be no need to bring in 100 trucks to queue for days without entering the ports.
He said that for a typical port to flourish it should have good infrastructure, well organised terminals and trucks should not wait for more than 20 minutes.
According to him, if any of these is lacking, then such a port is not a flourishing one.
“The seaports and airports are the main pride of the nation and should have priorities,’’ he said.
Earlier in the week, the association had called for a temporary closure of Lagos Ports until their bad access roads were repaired.
Nicol told NAN that the bad state of the roads was a clear demonstration of insensitivity to the plight of importers and exporters.
Also during the week under review, the NPA recorded a 7.20 per cent increase in cargo output which translated to 49.3 million tonnes in the first quarter of this year.
This in contained in a statement released to newsmen in Lagos by NPA’s General Manager in charge of Public Affairs, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NPA recorded 45.9 million tonnes in first quarter of 2014.
The statement’s breakdown showed that general cargo accounted for 6.4 million tonnes, while dry bulk cargo was 2.2 million tonnes.
“Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment was 5.5 million tonnes; refined petroleum products stood at 4.3 million tonnes; while laden containers which passed through all ports were 233,331 TEUs,’’ it said.
NAN reports that empty containers handled were 163,850 TEUs, while 30,649 units of vehicles were handled during the period under review.
The statement explained that 5,139 ocean-going vessels with a Gross Tonnage (GT) of 61.9 million tonnes called in all Nigerian ports.
It explained that the Gross Tonnage of Crude Oil Tankers recorded in the period under review (2015) showed a 12.21 per cent increase over the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2014.
Also during the week, the Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N185.7 billion revenue from January to July 2015.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Chris Osunkwo, who made the disclosure, told NAN in Lagos that the revenue result was a remarkable improvement over N162.3 recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.
In the week under review, Mr Haruna Baba Jauro, the Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said the agency would facilitate movement of transit cargo to Niger Republic.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos by the Deputy Director, Public Relations of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka.
The statement noted that the acting director-general gave the commitment when the Nigerian/Nigerien Joint Commission on Transit Cargo visited the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
It said members of the commission were led by Mr Oumarou Issoufou, the Director-General of the Shippers’ Council of the Republic of Niger.
Issoufou said Nigeria and Niger Republic could work together without barriers to ensure a smooth passage of goods between both countries. (NAN)