Nigerian access road issue remains

“The port is a place that should be exclusively for port operations,” Mr Folarin said (image is for illustrative purposes only) Photo: jbdodane/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0 “The port is a place that should be exclusively for port operations,” Mr Folarin said (image is for illustrative purposes only) Photo: jbdodane/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Attempts by the Nigerian government to mend access roads to the country’s Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port Complex to address the issue of port congestion might result in the problem going away for around four or five years only to return in a worse state than at present.

According to Nigerian business newspaper Business Day, analysts have claimed that the problem at Lagos Port Complex will only be resolved by the government supplying intermodal transport for cargo evacuation and rebuilding critical transport infrastructure.

Port Consultative Council chairman Kunle Folarin, speaking at a business roundtable organised by Nigerian-based newspaper MMS plus, called for the port corridor to be reserved as an exclusive economic zone.

Leaders’ comments

Mr Folarin claimed that “a recurring decimal of congestion at the ports” would continue unless a multimodal concept was installed and other infrastructure was constructed at the ports.

He called for an area within the port environment of up to 4 kilometres to be restricted to cargo warehouses, roads to transport port cargoes by truck or railway, as well as calling for a ring road reserved for the port.

“The port is a place that should be exclusively for port operations,” Mr Folarin said.

“However, in Nigeria, we have several residential houses surrounding the ports. Some of them are 10 metres from the port, so it is no longer a port corridor.”

He added that the port is not a storage space, saying that it should be a place where vessels discharge cargoes and these cargoes leave the facility just like the ships do.

He also said that upon construction of the Oshodi–Apapa expressway, it was perceived that it would service Tin Can Island Port Complex alone — yet it has turned into a municipal transport area and is not only for port traffic.

“The government has not fixed the Apapa–Oshodi road because of paucity of funds, as it hasn’t been factored in the nation’s budget in the last three years,” said Kingsley Anaroke, Kings Communications Limited chief executive.

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