By Gboyega Oni
Worried over the damaging impact the poor state of Tincan/Coconut section of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway is having on businesses in the port, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group has called on the federal government to quickly fix the Tin-Can/Coconut port access road to avoid the impending shut down of operations at the Tin Can Island Port.
Afolabi gave the advice in a press release issued by the Group and made available to PortNewsNigeria by Mr. Muyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX Group in Lagos.
The SIFAX Group boss noted that if the road is not quickly fixed, there is a looming danger of port congestion which will negatively affect port operations and ultimately, the country’s economy.
“I want to urge the government to quickly fix the Tin-Can Island Port access — Coconut road, even if it is just some form of palliatives. This road has completely broken down, with attendant chaos experienced by road users on a daily basis. Moving containers from the port to bonded terminals at Okota and other surrounding areas is now an uphill task.
“You will be lucky to make, in about six to eight hours, a journey that normally takes 30 minutes. At times, the road would be completely blocked with no visible movement for hours. Many agents could no longer deliver on their promise to their consignees. We want the government to intervene urgently and save the industry from this serious infrastructure crisis. A palliative at this time will be in order, even as we look forward to a more sustainable solution to all the roads in Apapa and other deficient facilities in the port,” said Afolabi.
Afolabi said that the quick fixing of the road by the government would lead to a significant rise in the revenue being accrued to the government by relevant agencies, noting that the dwindling revenue of the government from the port is partly due to the deplorable state of the port access road.
According to him, “there will be an increase in the vehicular movement in and out of the ports when the road is fixed. Consignees will quickly move their goods out of the port and will come back to get more goods, this will help increase the revenue being generated by the Customs and other relevant agencies at the port.”
The road has become almost impassable as many portions of it contain large craters and ditches, and this sorry state has made evacuation and delivery of containers and other consignments by heavy-duty trucks a tortuous experience while other port users daily groan under the weight of this unbearable condition.