Apapa gridlock has grounded our operations, Tin Can Port Manger laments

The Port Manager, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC), Babatunde Longe has said that the gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway has shut down operations at the port. He disclosed this yesterday when the General Manager, Western Ports of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Michael Ajayi toured the facility.

Longe, who accompanied the General Manager to inspect failed portions of the road said, “The repair of the road is beyond Tin Can Island Port. We expect government to come to our aid because it has stopped port operations.

“Government should repair the road so that stakeholders that have left can came back to work.”

Also speaking, the acting Port Manager of Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa, Abdulraman Lamina decried the state of the Wharf Road, saying it had reduced the port’s revenue by half.

“Presently, the Wharf Road is unmotorable and it has affected the cargo dwell time at the port. Ships cannot come and our revenue fell by about 50%.

“Vehicles cannot take delivery and those that go into the port cannot come out because of the traffic. That is why we are taking the GM around to see so that he can meet up with management for solutions to these problems.

“All the palliatives we are getting from our customers are no more coming because they have done that in the past and there is no solution to it so that is the situation along the Wharf road Apapa,” he said.

The Western Ports General Manager admitted that the roads leading into and out of the Apapa area have become a nightmare and a concern to everyone.

“All stakeholders are groaning because they have no access to the port. The gridlock affect efficient service delivery and efficiency.

“The ship waiting time, cargo dwell time and turn around time is affected so the implications are many. Even the revenue targets for customs, I doubt if they can meet it with this state of the road. There is need for those in charge to wake up because this is the major artery to the largest port in Nigeria,” Ajayi said.

Meanwhile, Truck drivers operating at the Tin Can Island Port Complex have accused the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) security and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) of what they called “high level extortion” on the port access roads.

The truckers who with yesterday said the security agencies corroborated with truck drivers to shunt queues so that they can be bribed to enter the port to pick cargoes.

One of the complainants who simply identified himself as Musilui Akinlade told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday that the security demand for bribes ranging from N2,000 to N5,000 from truck drivers eager to access the port.

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