The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has flagged off the construction of the 4.5km access road ‘D’ at the Federal Ocean Terminal in Onne Port Complex to ease the movement of cargo in and out of the port.
The road, which would be built with streetlights and other complementary facilities, would be delivered within 10 months.
NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, who flagged off the construction in Onne on Friday during his maiden visit to the port, said the road was part of the port expansion plan of phase 4B that was awarded to the Deep Offshore.
According to him, the cost of the project was part of the total port rehabilitation that was awarded long ago but was suspended due to some reasons.
“The road is the main artery into the Onne port, and we have witnessed a large increase in terms of cargo and other businesses. We felt it was time we asked the contractor to go back to the site. This will ease movement into the port. While we are complaining about the roads outside the port, which is outside our purview, we want to make sure that the roads in the port are in good condition,” he said.
Earlier before the flag-off, Bello-Koko also commissioned three watercrafts including a pilot cutter, a patrol boat, and a security boat in line with the NPA mandate to provide marine side infrastructure to support port operation.
“We are doing these things to encourage businesses to move to the eastern ports in order to reduce congestion in Lagos ports by ensuring that the eastern ports are functional,” he said.
He commended the West African Container Terminal (WACT), the largest container terminal operator at Onne port, for building an export processing facility at the port.
“The export terminal has the capacity to accept, arrange and bag export. It also containerises the cargo before sending the goods to the ship for export. It helps to reduce the cost and time wastage for exporters but it also ensures that products are exported fresh in line with the international best practices,” he said.
Bello-Koko also said that NPA was working with the Nigerian Navy to improve security along the waterways.
“We are also working to fence all the open spaces at the port that is resulting to either attack on ships or enchantment to the port properties by communities. We will ensure that the contract is awarded as quickly as possible,” he said.
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