At a virtual dialogue held by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Presidential Taskforce on Apapa Port Vice Chairman, Kayode Opeifa debunked media reports about traffic congestion in Apapa, referring to it a non-recurring traffic.
The Presidential Taskforce on Apapa Port has claimed that there is no gridlock in Apapa, but rather an ‘in-port congestion’.
According to him, there is no gridlock in Apapa, but rather an ‘in-port congestion’. He stated that the challenge with the port is due to business people circumventing standard procedures and being in a hurry to move their goods in and out of the ports.
He further explained that exporters were too desperate and moved their containers into AP Moller, rather than Lilly-pond where there was convenience.
While taking note of the need to immediately resolve all issues with overtime cargo and port space efficiency in the port holding bay, Opeifa also advised stakeholders to stay within the standard operating procedures and adhere to whatever instrument that is put in place.
He is also of the opinion that a multi-modal transport system with rail, road, water and others working at full capacity will go a long way solving the problem of gridlock at the ports.
Opeifa noted that the export cargo shipment is in trouble as there seemed to be inadequate capacity in the sector. He therefore called on stakeholders to show interest and assist exporters.
“The ball is now in the court of the stakeholders. All stakeholders need to take ownership of Apapa. We need to take control, take charge and make sure that we make use of the ports following the global best practices,” he said.
In his contribution, the Chairman, Freight Forwarders Group, Donald Uche, noted that there were still a lot of issues including extortion at Apapa and Tin Can ports to address. While suggesting that Apapa Dockyard be mapped out for export cargos so as to have a leeway straight in, instead of queuing in the main Apapa expressway, he also called for palliative on roads to enable exporters move their goods and to avoid containers falling.