The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has indicated that it plans to raise N4.3 billion, in conjunction with Dangote and Flour Mills, for the reconstruction of access roads around Apapa as port operators withdrew services over poor infrastructure.
Hadiza Usman, managing director of NPA, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Monday, saying NPA would provide N1.8 billion while Dangote Group and Flour Mills would both provide N2.5 billion.
The NPA convened the stakeholders’ meeting to bring back operators who withdrew their services from the port.
“We have received proposal for corporate social responsibility of N2.5 billion from Dangote Group and Flour Mills for the full reconstruction of port roads.
“The reconstruction entails full drainage service and the total cost of the Apapa port access roads project is N4.3 billion. The two entities are willing to provide N2.5 billion, while NPA will pay the remaining N1.8 billion to ensure that the roads are done,” Usman said.
The NPA boss said that the reconstruction would begin within one month, adding that she would ensure speedy completion of the project, that the Federal Ministry of Works would soon request the approval of the Federal Executive Council for NPA to embark of the project.
“I feel concerned about the deplorable state of these roads and I communicated at a meeting with the minister that we are willing to fund these roads irrespective of which agency of government is doing it,” she said.
According to the NPA boss, the congestion around Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports was due to lack of an effective holding bay, trailer parks and non-reconstruction of ports roads in Lagos.
Usman commended Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), for initiating dialogue with port operators who had protested poor infrastructure at the port.
Speaking earlier, Bello stressed the need for regular dialogue with stakeholders on issues militating against port operations. He pleaded with the port operators to suspend the withdrawal of their services and await the outcome of the initiatives of the NPA management.
Folake Soji-George, chairman, Corporate Fleet Truck Association, urged NPA to compel security agencies to stop tanker drivers from using one-way roads.
Soji-George said that security agencies should be committed to their duties by ensuring free flow of traffic to reduce the time of doing business at the ports.
Kayode Farinto, National Publicity Secretary, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), urged government agencies to address the issue of multiple charges by the customs.