Veteran Master Mariner, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho has proffered solutions to the protracted traffic gridlock and cumbersome cargo clearance process that have almost grounded maritime and logistics trade in and around Apapa ports in Lagos Nigeria.
Ihenacho counselled that the entire Apapa port and its environs need a super structural reconfiguration as obtains in Western world.
‘’The Apapa port environment needs to be redesigned and rebuilt in order to have the port system functioning properly again. In Europe and other advanced countries, cities and streets are redesigned and rebuilt every six months. Ageing houses give way now and then. We must learn from them.
‘’For instance, from Liverpool side of the Creek Road to This Day and down to Trebor, the buildings there are obsolete and dilapidated, abandoned in some cases. Government should acquire these properties, pay off the owners, demolish them and create space for port expansion to meet the ever increasing cargo throughput in Nigeria,’’ he noted.
To put an end to the menace of traffic-gridlock around Apapa port, Captain Ihenacho called on the Federal Government to forthwith engage a reliable construction company to rebuild the Apapa – Oshodi Expressway.
‘’Government must be futuristic and proactive about the ports and their development. The ports and their roads are a crucial artery for national economic growth and it is regrettable that our port roads are in this state of disrepair despite the increasing cargo volumes. When this road is rebuilt traffic problem will ease,’’ he said.
Captain Ihenacho who is the Chairman and CEO of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited and Genesis Worldwide Shipping wondered why Kirikiri Lighter Terminal is redundant when the ports in Apapa and Tincan Island seem oversubscribed.
‘’KLT has to be refurbished and put to use. It would help lighten the burden in terms of cargo and traffic congestion,’’ explained the former Minister of Internal Affairs.