By Frank Kintum
The Lagos gubernatorial candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi decried the current transportation architecture of the state. He stated this at the 2nd All Maritime Journalists Retreat held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Topo, Badagry, Lagos.
If elected into office, he promised to provide high capacity catamaran vessels for use on Lagos waters because of the shallow nature, and establish New roll on, roll off jetties, as well as moribund revive terminals.
According to him, “as we do that, we will be repairing the roads, and build a high speed rail service between Badagry and Epe. And between Alimosho and Epe, with connecting roads. We are going to take heavy loads out of the roads. We are going to be expanding the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to all parts of the state”.
He expressed surprise at the very wide disparity between the cost of building the Lagos rail line against that of the newly built Ethiopian rail line. According to him, it comparatively costs $54m-Lagos Blue line, against $5.4m-Ethiopia Rail line.
Stating that it will cost only about $12m to acquire the proposed Vessel, he frowned at the claim by Lekki Concession Company that it takes $16.6m per kilometre to expand the Lekki-Epe road.
Stressing the need for prudent management of finances, he revealed that the proposed railway system will be electrically powered with its own power supply, just as he plans to build an airport in Epe.
AMJON frowns at payment over $150m yearly for War Zone Insurance Premium
The huge costs of over $150m paid yearly by Nigeria for War Zone Insurance Premium and other security costs for guards on board foreign ships culling on Nigerian ports, has been decried by an industry stakeholder.
This remarks were made by the Chairman of the Association of Maritime of Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri at the 2nd All Maritime Journalists Retreat held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Topo, Badagry, Lagos.
With the theme, Promoting a synergy between the maritime and Oil and Gas Industries for National Development, the Chairman said the event “will have papers presented by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and others on ways of improving transportation in the country”.
He said “Let us use this medium to commend the NPA for repositioning the port industry, also, we commend the NPA, Nigeria Flour Mills Plc and Dangote Group for through the instrumentality of their Corporate Social Responsibility, have completed the three kilometres Wharf road”.
He went further to “urge the federal government to ensure early completion of Oshodi/Apapa Expressway awarded to Dangote Construction Company. We commend the NPA and the Nigerian Customs Service for the revenue they are generating for the government.
“We task the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to instead of dwelling in the denial that piracy on our waters is terrible and really hurting the nation’s economy, work the talk in ensuring adequate security of Nigerian waterways by looking inwards and doing what the NNPC did by awarding the contract for pipeline protection to former militants, notwithstanding that the strategy was criticised by this present government when they were in opposition”.
The representative of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in his remarks, said unwholesome activities of Nigeria Customs Service and Terminal Operators top the list of complaints sent to it by industry stakeholders.
On his part, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of AMJON, Asu Beks, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the National Transport Commission Bill into law.

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