By Foster Obi
Stakeholders in the maritime industry have said that the stretch of road from Coconut through Tincan to Apapa Wharf Lagos is the worst road in Nigeria. Cross section port users recently told SHIPS AND PORTS DAILY that no road in Nigeria would be as bad as the road to Lagos ports in Apapa.
Those who spoke include freighforwarders, importers, Custom officers and those who come to clear goods at the port.
Chukwumalu Emeka, a freightforwader said that being the gateway to the nation’s economy, the port deserves better access road. He said that the government should be more committed in making the road passable. “This is the road that takes heavy-duty vehicles more than any road in the country, yet it is not given the right attention. A road like that needs regular maintenance, it is not a road you do once and abandon it”, he snapped.
Chief Osita Chukwu, President, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC) said the government should be more imaginative in handling the road to avoid giving the country a negative name tag among the comity of nations.
David Pius of Uburu Maritime said the road had remained that way because of insincerity of those at the seat of power. He said that because of corruption and needless politicking, the port access road has been left uncared for while leaving port users stranded for hours because of traffic gridlock.
A custom officer who spoke in anonymity said, “This is the worst road to any port in the world even in smaller African countries.” He said the government should take more than passing interest on the road as regular traffic gridlock has a way of scaring investors in the country who are mostly time conscious.
“The stretch of road we are talking about is not that long. This is the gateway to the nation’s economy. Government officials are siphoning billions of Naira into private accounts yet this road that could help transform the economy is forgotten. It shows we are not getting our priorities right and have become a laughing stock in the world”, he lamented.
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