The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has commissioned a new Operation Command Centre built by APM Terminals Apapa to boost efficiency and service delivery at the terminal.
The Minister, who visited the terminal in company of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), Dr. Magdalene Ajani; Director, Rail and Transport Services, FMOT, Muhammad Baba-Kobi; Chairman of the Governing Board, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Ibrahim Alhassan Musa; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman and the Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria; was received at the terminal in the Lagos Port Complex by the Nigeria Country Manager of APM Terminals, Klaus Laursen.
Laursen said the new Operation Command Centre will, among other benefits, strengthen exchange of information and coordination in the movement of containers out of the port. This, he said, will enhance operational efficiency and provide a better work environment at the terminal.
He said, “The centre is the brain of the business. It is about day-to-day execution where information is exchanged. This is where we decide which box to put where, at which time and the equipment to pick it up so that everything works together.
“It will help locate containers whether to go on a truck or barge at the right time. It will also help you to know where a container is and allocate a piece of equipment to lift the container. That is what the centre will help do.
“With the type of terminal of this size and with this equipment, we should be able to put around 40 to 45 moves per hour across the quay. It will improve productivity.
“What we try to do is to raise the standard and if we raise the standard, we believe that we can also raise the reliability of our operations. More importantly is that you will get service at the time when you need them.
“It gives virtually a better opportunity to collaborate and will help in information sharing among staff. It will also provide space for social distancing and there will be every opportunity for communication.
“We are targeting about 700 deliveries per day and we would like to double that, so we need stronger delivery capabilities so the importers and the exporters in Nigeria can get faster access to their cargo and possibly at a cheaper rate.”
Laursen also said that the company is in support of the Federal Government’s drive to achieve a rail transportation system in the movement of cargo out of the port to relieve the roads of traffic congestion.
“Nigeria has a desire to build and improve infrastructure by building a new modern rail. We have a lot of support for that and I can see a lot of support for our business doing well too. It is a good idea.
“For an import container terminal that we are, getting the boxes out of the port is the key challenge and with the road situation as it has been in Lagos for a very long time; it makes sense to try to reduce the traffic using the rail. We are here to support and to partner with the government in achieving this,” he said.
Also speaking, the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, said the rail line, when completed, will facilitate the movement of containers out of Apapa Port, thereby reducing pressure on the roads.