Gbemi Saraki flags off operation to free port access road

Gbemi Saraki flags off operation to free port access road
Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki

The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki has flagged off the second phase of “Operation free the ports’ corridors” which is aimed at removing illegal checkpoints and shanties littering the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex Apapa and the Tin Can Island Port.

Recall that the first phase of the operation was launched on April 14 by the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT).

Speaking at the Nigerian Shippers’ Council head office in Apapa, Lagos on Friday, the Minister, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Inland Waterways, Maritime Services Department, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Adams Ofie, expressed the ministry’s readiness to make provision for all the necessary resources required to achieve the objectives of the operation.

“The ministry is aware of the major challenges of enlarged Presidential Port Standing Task Team due to inadequate logistics and operational needs for more robust and effective implementation of the PSTT mandate. Accordingly, the task team request is currently receiving attention at the ministry for possible intervention and immediate facilitation of logistics and operational needs to help seamless implementation of the PSTT mandate effectively.

“Therefore, there is a goal pointer to the fact that the operation under review has positively served the actualization of the objectives of the Executive order 001 on the ease of doing business in Nigerian ports, as envisioned through the compliance of the Nigerian Port Process Manual, which is a focused action plan that is expected to be one of the key indicators for the effective implementation of Executive Order 001 in the port,” the Minister said.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, recounted the ordeal members of the team usually suffered in the course of discharging their duties.

“The Honourable Minister Ma, it would interest you to know that even in the face of logistics and operational challenges, the task team has admirably achieved its objectives. However, the successes recorded were not without dire consequences including stern resistance, intimidation, threat to lives, and physical assault of operatives, gadgets, and vehicles.  A case in point was the attack on some personnel of the task team including the National Coordinator where they were assaulted and harassed.

“As I stated during my address of welcome at the maiden flag-off ceremony, the whole idea of “Operation free the ports’ corridors” is essentially to rid the ports and port corridors of inefficiencies and corrupt practices to enhance the ease of doing business. Therefore, I would like to reiterate my appeal to everybody or groups that still nurse reservations to kindly see reasons and cooperate to ensure that the port corridors are free for ease of movement and conduct of businesses,” he said.
On his part, the Lagos State

Commissioner for Transportation, Frederick Oladeinde said that the state Ministry of Transportation was ready to back up the operation with necessary support while disclosing that another 19 hectares of land has been added to the Ahmed Bola Tinubu park to accommodate up to 2,500 trucks.

The National Coordinator of PSTT, Moses Fadipe, said logistics and operational challenges were hindering the effective discharge of the duties of the task team