In a bid to find a lasting solution to the perennial traffic situation that has affected the port city of Apapa, Chairman of Integrated Oil and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Worldwide Shipping, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho has advised the Federal Government to knock down old and obsolete buildings that are constituting a stumbling block to fre-flow of traffic in the area in order to expand the port access road and create truck marshaling areas.
Capt. Iheanacho, a first-generation master mariner and founding member of the Nigerian Ship owners’ Association (NISA), gave the advice at a roundtable meeting with journalists, under the aegis of Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Lagos, recently.
He noted that the traffic situation on access roads to the port is abysmal; and the ports are currently choked to death. According to him, there is a deficit in terms of the roads available and the traffic that goes in and out of the ports.
As part of measures to ease the congestion, Iheanacho suggested that a special committee should be set up to look into redesigning the general layout of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Port as cargoes coming in are more than the available infrastructure.
“The roads were built so many years ago in relations to the traffic size, the traffic has since increased; and there is need for policy planners to make adequate provisions for roads for various trucks”
“The problem has to do with the fact that we have not seen investment in infrastructure like roads.
Policy makers need to redesigning the areas very close to the port. There are lots of buildings around port environment that are not yielding any economic profits.”
He said, “It would not be a bad idea if we have people who are forward looking to look at the possibility of acquiring some of these building, knock them down and develop additional infrastructure by way of truck parks and access roads and the problem would be solved.”
“It is not something we could endure forever and ever, it is something that a special task force should be set up to look at and find possible long-term solutions to it,” he said.
The oil magnate, however, exempted petroleum tank farm owners from the cause of the traffic congestion at the port.
According to him, the problem does not lie with the tank farms, but with container trucks.
He noted that the roads are too small for the volume of trucks going into the port. According to him, there is also an urgent need for the FG to address the level of refuse taking over major roads leading to the port.