By Ajibola Abayomi,
Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Maritime matters, Mr Leke Oyewole has advised the Federal Government to rehabilitate the waterways and rail line to ease the flow of traffic as major construction commences on Apapa Whaf-Road in Lagos.
He said the non provision of alternatives routes in and out of Apapa would disrupt businesses and port activities that would impact negatively on the economy.
Similarly, the National President of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Mr. Lucky Amiwero has also petitioned that Presidency noting that there was a need to conclude the palliative works on the Tin-Can Island road axis before the closure of the road.
He argued said that closure the Apapa-Wharf Bridge without proving alternative routes would spell doom for business operators.
According to Oyewole government ought to have thought of this before announcing the closure of the road.
He suggested the rehabilitation of the waterways and rail lines in and within Lagos to ease of the movement of people and goods.
“We had tried it before now and the movement of cargoes from Lagos ports to Ikorodu was done so effortlessly that we saw as an alternative to moving cargoes out of the ports.
“The Federal Government should explore other areas of ameliorating the suffering of people and their businesses in Apapa” he added.
Amiwero in a petition, dated April 9, 2018, said that “The propose closure of the Ijora Apapa Wharf Bridge, without the rehabilitation of Tincan Island road axis that connects the four (4) major Ports in Lagos, will greatly affect the movement of goods into and out of the Ports, which will lead to close down of operation in the four major Ports in Lagos.”
Part of the petition reads “ We wish to bring to the attention of the Federal Government, the economic implication of the propose closure of the Ijora Apapa wharf bridge for four months.
“There is an urgent need to conclude the palliative work on the Tincan Island road axis of the Apapa Oshodi Express Way, before the closure of the Ijora Apapa Wharf bridge that is used as holding bay to en-route to Apapa Port, which puts pressure on the bridge.
“The propose closure of the Ijora Apapa Wharf Bridge, without the rehabilitation of Tincan Island road axis that connects the four (4) major Ports in Lagos, will greatly affect the movement of goods into and out of the Ports, which will lead to close down of operation in the four major Ports in Lagos.
“Lagos ports might be declared force majeure, due tooperational difficulties in going in and out of the Port, which will necessitate shipping lines to divert cargos to neighboring West African Ports, to reduce stay time of ships and cargos.
“The Tincan Island axis of the Port access road, should be rehabilitated, with part of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) allocation of the 7% Surcharge on Port Development Levy (PDL) in line with the provision of the Port Act Section 32-(a), which conferred authority to NPA, for the Maintenance, control and management of the Port Roads.”