The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, said the traffic gridlock in Apapa had affected access into the ports and killing trade facilitation programme of government.
According to a statement by NPA on Monday in Lagos, Usman said this at a stakeholders meeting held in her office.
She said that the bad access roads into Apapa was killing the trade facilitation programme of the government and had affected the smooth delivery of cargoes to importers.
“NPA is not happy that all modalities and measures adopted so far have not translated into quick cargo movement in and out of the ports,” the managing director said.
She told the stakeholders that a positive action would be taken by the NPA in the interest of all and the economy.
Usman told the stakeholders that “the quick rehabilitation of the road remains a priority to her team to reposition the ports and salvage the economy’’.
She received the report on traffic decongestion of Apapa and its environs.
The managing director appealed to Messrs Dangote Construction Nig. Ltd and the Management of Flour Mills Nig Ltd. to expedite action toward an early reconstruction of Wharf Road.
Usman also appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and members of the National Assembly to include the reconstruction of Creek Road linking Tin-Can Island Port in the 2017 budget.
She said the minister and the lawmakers should help to see to the quick completion of the trailer park opposite the Tin-Can Port to keep the trucks away from the road.
Usman also called for synergy between the Federal and State Governments as well as the stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the perennial gridlock on the road.
She urged port users to always subject themselves to security checks at the gates leading to the ports and warned that unauthorised persons intruding into the ports should stop or face sanctions.
The managing director said that NPA would soon introduce measures that would make it impossible for those without genuine business to access the ports.
Usman said NPA would continue to hold meetings with stakeholders to workout modalities on measures to be adopted to resolve the gridlock in the interest of all stakeholders and the nation’s economy.
She said the Federal Government was determined to find a lasting solution to the chaotic traffic situation along Apapa axis.
Usman said that efforts were being made by the Federal Government and the NPA to improve and sustain efficient road transport network within and around the ports.
The managing director said that government would promote trade, improve cargo delivery and boost the economy.
In another development, the Commandant, 9th Infantry Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Sani Mohammed has appealed to the managing director to visit the widows of the soldiers of the Brigade, who lost their lives in the on-going Nigerian military’s counter insurgency campaign in the North Eastern part of the country.
Mohammed made the plea during a courtesy visit to the NPA managing director’s office in Lagos.
He said there should be a visit by the NPA boss to see the widows to use her advocacy work to better the lots of the widows, whom their breadwinners died fighting to conquer the insurgents.
“Considering all she did with the BringBackOurGirls Campaign, we would want her to come and see our widows and employ her advocacy initiative to better their lots,’’ Mohammed said.
“I know the managing director when she was fighting for the abducted Chibok girls. Considering all she did with the BringBackOurGirls, we want her to come and see our widows,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that the Brigade, having taken part in all Nigeria’s military campaigns at home and abroad, was also part of the security apparatus in Lagos tagged: ‘Operation Mensa’.
He said that the Brigade was extending its hand of fellowship and relationship to the ports authority with a view to exploring ways it could add value to the security of the Nigerian ports industry.
Responding, Usman, who was represented at the event by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr Sokonte Davies, said the advocacy works of the managing director, was a passion which she inherited from her parents.
“The managing director’s advocacy works were not what she just learnt but what she saw her father doing, so it is in her.
“I believe that she will really find time to visit the widows of the soldiers, who lost their lives in the counter-insurgency campaign,’’ Davies said.