By Onyinye Eze
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said it is making every effort to restore normalcy to the chaotic transportation situation along Lagos ports access roads.
The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, said this on Monday in Lagos, at a colloquium organized in honour of Prince Olayiwola Shittu, the former President, Association Of Licenced Customs Clearing Agents, to mark his 68th birthday.
She said that one of the critical areas NPA is working on is to reduce congestion that is seen within the Tincan Island and Apapa ports area. This she said is attributable due to the absence of intermodal transportation system.
According to her, we have about 90% of cargo being evacuated by road and evidently, will translate into congestion.She said the Nigeria Railway is working actively with the support of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to ensure cargo evacuation by rail.
She however lamented that there are huge number of tank farms within Apapa and Tincan Island ports, which evacuate their products through roads.
Hadiza Bala Usman stated that they have called the agencies in the petroleum industry to facilitate the evacuation of liquid using pipelines, adding that it will go a long way in reducing the congestion within Lagos sea ports.
"We believe that utilization of intermodal cargo evacuation will address the congestion when the use of rail, pipelines, and inland water ways are provided.
"We are working seriously with all the agencies of Government responsible for this to ensure that those are made within a short period of time," she said.
She also affirmed that utilization of empty container holding bays by the shipping companies has been instituted, adding that it is important for a shipping company to have holding bays that will take their empty containers.
"As part of the need to decongest the ports, we are currently seeking for locations for trailer parks.
"We have collaborate with the Lagos and Ogun State governments to license trailer parks and those trailer parks will be the location where trucks will be parked and called up to the ports to pick up their cargo,” she said.