The Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Mr. Nasir Anas Mohammed has said the location of petroleum products depots, popularly called oil tank farms, and industries within the port environment has made the port susceptible to pollution. This was even as he linked the gridlock presently being experienced in Apapa to the road maintenance around the Tin-Can Island Port axis.
Speaking yesterday at an environmental awareness programme tagged ‘Environmental sustainability in the marine environment’ in Apapa, Lagos, Mohammed said that trucks coming into the port from the Mile 2 area were diverted to pass through Orile.
“The trucks have to go through the diversion to enable the intervention being done around Tin-Can Island to be carried out quickly.
“The flow of traffic is definitely disturbed as the trucks make way to follow the diversion.
“This is taking a toll on the Ijora –end into the Apapa also, as the trucks now use the only access from there,” Mohammed said.
On the environment, he said, “Today, the diversity of activities at the ports go beyond the traditional role of the ports for loading and clearance of cargoes. Industries and tank farms, which constitute land base and atmospheric sources of marine pollution, are not located with in the port.
“In other words, the coastal and marine environment around the ports are susceptible to pollution threats, stress on aquatic resources, health risk to operators and users of the port.
Mohammed said the purpose for the sensitization and awareness programme was for all Nigerians to be agents for good environmental change in support of sustainable and equitable development in and around the port.
“I wish to therefore encourage everyone of us to pledge on how we are going to play our part in the preservation of our environment.
“This programme equally aims at helping the terminal operators, officers and staff of the port and other port users to come to the reality of the consequences of most of our actions that constitute environmental hazards as well as having knowledge to realize not only our responsibility but power to be agents for good environmental change,” he said.
The Apapa Port Manager also prevailed on participants to share their experience on how to make the port a greener and cleaner place.
Also speaking at the event, the General Manager, NPA Western Ports, Engr. Adeyinka Odunsi charged participants to take good care of the environment especially the marine environment.
He said, “We should ensure HSE is part of us. We should continue with the awareness and sensitization so that it won’t be a thing of NPA but a thing for the whole country.
“We should be conscious of our environment, we should not contaminate the water but preserve our aquatic and marine environment.”
The General Manager, ?Health Safety and Environment of NPA, Mr. TOS Talabi said the traffic situation at Apapa is a challenge to the port infrastructure and environment.
“Traffic situation is causing pollution to the marine environment. It is damaging us and we must all sit together to solve the problems,” he said.
Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, said the concentration of tank farms in Apapa was a major cause of the gridlock.
He also said that the absence of truck holding bays was responsible for so many trucks parking on the roads and hindering free-flow of traffic.
He said, “Can you imagine, no other area where they can lift fuel in Nigeria, it is only Apapa.
“You will see vehicles, tankers from the north, from the east, from the west, from everywhere coming to lift fuel.
“Why not use pipe? So when the ship brings the product, let it be piped through pipe to somewhere like Ogun State, Ondo State and some area so that the congestion will be reduced within the port environment.”
He also said that the location of other businesses not related to maritime in Apapa had also taken up spaces that would have accommodated some of the trucks.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.