By Ignatius Ushie
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has called for an immediate rehabilitation of the Apapa and Tin-Can ports in Lagos State, Nigeria.
According to a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, the Minister made the assertion at the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Headquarters in Lagos in a meeting with the Management and Staff of the Agency shortly after an inspection of facilities at the Lagos Port Complex.
Oyetola who decried the poor state of the collapsed quay sections of the ports noted that the Federal Government understands the importance of ports as it relates to the nations economic development, hence, stressed the need for immediate commencement of infrastructural renewal of ports across the country.
On the need to decongest the ports, the Minister disclosed that he was made to understand that about 6000 containers dating back to 2011 have been abandoned at the ports.
According to him, such an act is a hindrance to better service delivery.
He therefore, enjoined NPA to synergize with the Nigeria Customs and auction such containers.
In addition, Oyetola stated that the current practice of physical examination of containers at the ports was an aberration and called for the deployment of scanners at all terminals.
Speaking on the need to rehabilitate the ports access roads and movement to facilitate evacuation of freight through rail from the Apapa port, Oyetola promised to engage the Ministers of Works and Transportation to proffer solutions to these challenges.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, while welcoming the Minister on his maiden visit to the agency, expressed optimism that his appointment will herald and provide the needed support for the agency to amongst other things, secure the needed funds and approvals for the construction and rehabilitation of ports infrastructure in the country, restore 24 hour navigation at the Eastern port as well as work out modalities for increased patronage and bottlenecks affecting the Eastern ports.