In a bid at find a lasting solution to the perennial traffic situation occasioned by the deplorable nature of the roads in the nation’s port cities of Apapa, stakeholders in the Maritime sector have called on the Federal Government (FG) to act by granting terminal operators opportunity to repair the roads.
According to them, granting them two to three years’ tax holiday as away of compensating them for the cost will go a long way in helping to stabilize the sector as the economic hub of the country.
Leading this call is the Corporate Affairs Manager ,SIFAX Group, Mr. Muyiwa Akande, who emphasized that the deplorable state of the Apapa andTin Can Island road has frustrated efforts of terminal operators on the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the government.
He said, “issues of the port access road have become a nightmare,because of the comatose road and traffic gridlock experienced to and from the environment.
And this has made the effort of the terminal operators on the ease of doing business initiative difficult because at times it takes weeks for the truck to get to the port and weeks to get out.
“In fact, many trucks owner doesn’t wish to come to the port any longerbecause of the state of the road, except if they don’t have any otherbusiness to do that is when you see them in the port, this is bad forthe economy looking at how much government earns from the port,” hesaid.
Similarly, the national spokesman for the National Association of Government Approved FreightForwarders (NAGAFF) Mr. Stanley Ezenga said that granting terminaloperator’s tax holiday as arebate for road construction will help insolving the menace and debt incurred by business owners in the vicinity.
“The concessionaire agreement did not favour the terminal operators,looking at the deplorable state of the road.
But since the government has failed in that regard, of course, let them give an incentive for terminal operators to fix the road and then grant them a tax holiday so that we will not be waiting for government, to do everything for us.
“This is because the government will continue to shift blame, the state government will say it’s a federal road while the Federal Government will say it is not captured in the year’s budget leaving the commuters and business owners to suffer and bear the loss.
“So, I believe if FG can grant the terminal operators the opportunityto repair the roads, it will go a long way to ease the pressure on the government, he said.