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SIFAX boss, Afolabi envisages shut down of Tin Can port due to access



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Percentage access to Tin Can Port, Lagos is getting to the lowest ebb due to poor access roads. Already, businesses located within the complex have all arelocated out of the axis, thus raising more frustration for port business owners that are still forcing themselves to exist.

Giving further insights on the dangers of continued non-access to Tin Can Port, the Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Mr. Taiwo Afolabi, said “The road has become almost impassable as many portions of it contain large craters and ditches”.

“The current sorry state has made evacuation and delivery of containers and other consignments by heavy-duty trucks a tortuous experience while other port users daily groan under the weight of this unbearable condition.

He argued that “if the road is not quickly fixed, there is a looming danger of port congestion which will negatively affect port operations and ultimately, the country’s economy”.

He expressed worry why government attention had only fixed at Wharf-Ijora axis of the Port access road, saying percentage of port users and articulated vehicles traffic are more on Tin Can axis as both users of Apapa Port and Tin Can Port use Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

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Only in August, the trio of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dangote Group and Nigerian Floor Mills, sealed an understanding to fix Apapa Wharf road and was silence on Tin can port axis.

During a recent media chat with the managing director of NPA, Hadiza Usman, she avoided comments on Tin Can axis of port access road, but gave further update on happenstances on Wharf road reconstruction, saying the contractor is having issues with relocating gas pipelines.

She revealed that the cost of the job is being reviewed by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to accommodate the new cost.

On the best option for the failed Tin Can Port access road,  Afolabi called on the government to quickly fix the Tin-Can Island Port access, Coconut road, even if it is just some form of palliatives. This road has completely broken down, with attendant chaos experienced by road users on a daily basis. Moving containers from the port to bonded terminals at Okota and other surrounding areas is now an uphill task”.

“You will be lucky to make, in about six to eight hours, a journey that normally takes 30 minutes. At times, the road would be completely blocked with no visible movement for hours. Many agents could no longer deliver on their promise to their consignees.  We want the government to intervene urgently and save the industry from this serious infrastructure crisis. A palliative at this time will be in order, even as we look forward to a more sustainable solution to all the roads in Apapa and other deficient facilities in the port.” Afolabi, Sifax boss averred.