The Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has again expressed concern over the chaotic traffic situation along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway which it said has affected access into the terminal and led to loss of huge revenue.
The gridlock, which is affecting smooth delivery of cargoes at the ports, is attributed to the bad access road into Apapa and worsened by the indiscriminate parking of fuel tankers and other articulated vehicles on the road due to lack of holding bay.
Public Relations Officer of the command, Kayode Wey in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY said the difficulty by truckers in accessing the terminal due to the bad roads is the major reason why importers shy away from stemming their containers to the terminal.
He said the situation has led to a dip in the command’s revenue profile despite the effort of the Area Controller, Comptroller Lami Wushishi to create conducive trading environment for legitimate trade.
“Everything is just dull here and we have never had it bad this period. The roads are bad and we pass through this traffic to get here every day, how can we get to the office and be productive? The traders also can’t get to the terminal because of the bad roads and it is hampering our revenue generation.
“We are not like other command that ships come to berth, we are begging them to stem down to this place and the road to pass is another challenge. When one container takes almost 22 hours to get out of Tin can and takes four days to get to our terminal here, which importer we want to stem container to the terminal? We can’t force the importers to stem their containers here so many of them now do their job at the mother ports.
“At one time the roads were manageable either because palliatives were been done but now the state of the road has gone beyond manageable, it is very bad,” he said.
Chairman, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) KLT chapter, Otunba Micheal Adekoya also lamented the low business activities at the terminal which he said has affected the operation of his members and other clearing agents operating at the terminal.
He said at present, the command only receives two containers in a week due to the bad roads.
“We all know what the road is saying now. If we talk about the command that the road is affecting, it is KLT because we don’t have vessels that berths here, it is only from Tin Can and Apapa they bring containers down here and it is only through road.
“It is only Bollore terminal that started using barge to bring container just recently. Even to bring the container here is another problem on its own. From Brawal to KLT is a short distance but even at that, you still spends six hours in the traffic unlike Tin Can when you spend three days on the road. That is the only difference.
“We have only one container to clear in three days at the terminal. At times in a week, you hardly see two containers. The officers are just redundant doing nothing there; it is only what they see they work on. The Controller and the stakeholders have tried their best to see how they can talk to the government but nothing has changed. The problem still remains,” he said.