The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess (Dr.) Vicky Haastrup, has decried the slow pace of construction work on the Marine Beach Bridge, Apapa, saying it is hampering evacuation of cargoes from the ports.
The bridge is the only passable route to Apapa and Tin Can as every other route has become dilapidated or is under repair.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, Princess Haastrup said due to the ongoing construction on the bridge and Tin Can Island Port access roads, it has become a nightmare for port users to access the ports adding that the waiting time of vessels has also increased as trucks struggle to access the ports to evacuate cargoes.
“The construction of the bridge is going at a very slow pace and that breaks my heart because this bridge is very strategic. There is an ongoing construction at Tin Can Island right now. So the only access road to both Tin can Island and Apapa Ports right now is the Marine Beach Bridge. In the last couple of weeks, I don’t see anybody working on the bridge and the question is why is the contractor not speeding up the work?
“To me, this is a disgrace for Nigeria. It is such a nightmare for people to come to Apapa to do business. Maritime sector is a very strategic sector to the economy of Nigeria but what do we have today? It is practically impossible to access the port.
“Lay down time for ships is increasing by the day because trucks and people cannot access the port. So I am appealing to the Federal Ministry of Work to please see to it that the contractor speeds up the pace of work on the bridge,” she said.