The Federal Government has said that terminal operators would have to contribute to the total reconstruction and reorganization of the Apapa seaport.
This is seen as part of the efforts aimed at rebuilding and quick resolution of the crisis and infrastructural development around that axis.
According to a statement from his media office, this was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while speaking after the President’s inauguration of the Deep Blue Project at the Apapa port.
Amaechi said that this was important because efficiency issues have been identified as an important problem that has been negatively affecting the seaport.
Amaechi said that he noticed some drastic change in Apapa port on the day President Muhammadu Buhari visited the facility to commission the Deep Blue Project, which is to help boost security in the waterways.
The Minister in his statement said, “I was in the train with the President on that day and noticed that everything had disappeared, even inside the port that looked like a market place was very well organised; no person was found loitering about, no trucks.
“What it shows is that the problem of the seaport is the problem of efficiency. If they had the capacity in just one night, because I was there the previous evening, and when I came back in the morning, everything had disappeared; if that can happen in one night, it means that the problem is management, nothing else. Do we need to wait for the president to come before we can be efficient?
“What I’ve done was to have a meeting with the terminal operators, and I told them that they have to contribute to the reconstruction of the Apapa seaport.
“We must rebuild the Apapa seaport, taking into cognisance all the issues that we are seeing now that is frustrating the seaport, like where do you park the trucks, how many trucks are coming into the seaport at what point in time?”
Amaechi pointed out that in a bid to solve the problem in Apapa, the Federal Ministry of Transportation would collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigerian Ports Authority as the seaport is a security area that is not meant for everybody.
He also said the movement of cargoes from the seaport through the rail lines, when the service begins, would also help in arresting the situation at the port.
What you should know
It can be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday last week commissioned the $1.5 billion 157 kilometre Lagos-Ibadan rail line and the Deep Blue Project, which would help boost security in the country’s waters and would be overseen by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in partnership with the Ministry of Defence.