The new Port Manager, Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos, Emmanuel Akporherhe, has promised to work with stakeholders to end the perennial traffic congestion along access roads to the port.
He made this known during an operational tour of all Terminals within the Tin-Can Island Port with his management team on Wednesday.
“The Terminal Operators are doing well at Tin-Can Port but their major problem is congestion along the access roads to the port, which the present NPA management is working hard to stop.
“My major goal is to find how the gridlock along the port access road will be defeated.
“Many people do not know that the congestion had truncated a lot of businesses and created a lot of complications to operations.
“Congestion also slows down business activities. The NPA management will team up with all government agencies, stakeholders as well as Lagos State and local governments to eradicate the traffic problem,’’ Akporherhe said.
The Port Manager said that for those terminals facing challenges of miscreants and hoodlums, NPA would combine efforts with the Terminal Operators to fight it.
Akporherhe commended the managements of Grimaldi, Port and Terminal Multi-Services Ltd. (PTML), for introducing barges in their operations to beat traffic and making Nigerian ports the destination of first choice.
He said that the introduction of barges would go a long way in easing the traffic congestion, adding that it would also make Nigerian ports more attractive.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Grimaldi Agency, Ascanio Russo, said the management of the Terminal had introduced barges to beat the traffic and improve on their services.
“The customer does not have to come to the port. The barges will pick the cargo from the Terminal and deliver the cargo at Mile 2 Terminal for the customers.
“We just started the operations of barges a week ago and so far we have been able to discharge 400 containers off the Terminal without facing delay of trucks coming into the port to carry containers.
“Before now, it used to take a week for trucks to reach the terminal and take containers out of the port but with the introduction of barges, we discharged many containers daily without seeing the owners,’’ Russo said.
He said that the Terminal had been running on gas generator to power the terminals, saying that using gas generator was economical than using diesel.
The Port Facilities Security Officer, Josepdam Port Service (JPS), Retired Lt.-Cdr Sylvanus Nwanna, said that the major complaint was attacks by hoodlums who came through the water by boat. “Each time a vessel comes along, the bad elements will capitalise on the preparation of the ship to berth and come alongside to hit.
“When they come with their boats, they will use nets to attempt to board the vessels.
“With the security apparatus we have on ground, we have been able to solve the problem. They will always attempt but they will not succeed,’’ Nwanna said.
He urged the Port Manager to come to their rescue by reducing the challenges, adding that the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Usman, had promised to get more patrol boats to eliminate the challenges.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), Mr Etienne Rocher, pledged to continue to collaborate with NPA to make Nigerian ports the preferred destinations.
Rocher said that port operators faced a lot of challenges including gridlock outside the Terminal gate, adding that most port congestion took place at Tin-Can Island Port and not at Apapa Port.
The Managing Director, however, urged the management of NPA to rehabilitate Tin-Can Island Port and Apapa Port access roads.
He said that the management of TICT had invested more than $140 million since 2006 when it took over the ownership of the Terminal.