The Federal Government has identified insecurity as the major reason why importers and exporters mostly use Lagos ports and are reluctant to use the Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar Seaports.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the construction of 3 deep seaports namely, Lekki deep seaport to be ready next year, Bonny deep seaport with construction to commence at the same time with the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line and the Warri deep seaport
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while appearing as a guest at a Channels Television programme on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
The Minister also pointed out that another challenge is that the Calabar and Warri ports cede so easily and so it’s difficult to continue to recede them regularly and as such the government had to take a decision on the construction of new deep seaports to decongest the Lagos ports.
What the Minister of Transportation is saying
Amaechi during the interview said, ‘’The Ministry of Transport or the NPA does not have the responsibility of determining where an importer or exporter will transact his business. So if the importer or exporter decides to transact his business through Lagos, then there will be that congestion, it does not necessarily mean it is because the port is not efficient.
‘’The problem we have with congestion is that there is insecurity at the sea which we are addressing and we are having a battle with private interests that have captured security contracts from several government agencies or private investors or private companies that deal with maritime. Now that we want part of the water because we have put a security infrastructure that will protect the water from beginning to the end of our international waterways, they are fighting back, they are doing all sorts of things, petitioning everybody, petitioning me, go to National Assembly, go to EFCC, go to NFIU, everywhere and I am just watching.
‘’So the first thing to do is to address the insecurity, the moment we address the insecurity, it will encourage importers from Onitsha, Aba and others to use the Port Harcourt seaport or Warri seaport or Calabar seaport. So it’s not about the seaport or river ports are not available. Again the Calabar port cedes just like the Warri port. They cede so easily, so its difficult to continue to recede them regularly, so what is the solution to that.
‘’The President has approved the construction of three new seaports in Nigeria. He has approved the construction of Lekki Deep seaport. Lekki Deep seaport should be ready next year, 2022, I insisted on that because I want this current government to commission the project. He has also approved the construction of the Bonny Deep seaport; we are currently trying to acquire land so that the construction can commence. It commences almost at the same time with Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line either by end of February or first week in March.’’ he said.
What this means
- The construction and take-off of these 3 new deep seaports will help to significantly reduce the pressure on the Lagos ports and reduce the congestion in and around the facilities.
- This will also help to improve the ease of doing business at the ports as importers and exporters complain of the harrowing experiences they go through including long delays they have to face to clear their goods and having to pay demurrage.
"The President has approved the construction of three new seaports: Lekki deep seaport, to be ready next year; Bonny deep seaport- construction to commence at the same time with Portharcourt-Maiduguri rail line; and Warri deep seaport."-Minster @MinTransportNG, @ChibuikeAmaechi. pic.twitter.com/ioAmTpptFW
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) February 17, 2021
Onitsha River Port set to receive 1000 containers from Lagos next week
The National Inland Water Ways Authority says1000 containers from Lagos will arrive Onitsha river port.
The National Inland Water Ways Authority has made public its intention to move 1000 containers from Lagos to Onitsha river port.
The statement was made on Thursday by Jibril Dardau the NIWA general manager of Corporate Affairs.
Mr. Jibril Dardau was speaking of the backdrop of an earlier statement made by the executive director of NIWA Mr. George Moughalu. Mr. George Moughalu said the agency is targeting about 1,000 containers to be hauled per trip from Lagos ports to Onitsha River Port within the maximum duration of 4 days.
Moghalu added that NIWA is engaging the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to facilitate the commencement of the cargo haulage.
NIWA in an official statement articulated the practical modalities involved in the new initiative. It also mentioned the third party companies it would work it during the operation.
“The idea of hauling containers via Burutu Ports to Onitsha River Port is to deliberately avoid the two small bridges of Gbarekolo and Bumandi,
“Because the two bridges are too tiny and shallow for sea moving badges or vessels to ply through, that is why the company (ACTL) is considering the route from Lagos ports to Burutu Port then to Onitsha River Port as the final destination,” the statement added.
What to know
- The Recent initiative by the National Inland Waterways Authority is aimed at reducing the gridlock at the Sea Ports in Lagos.
- The Nigerian Government has been accused of intentionally marginalizing the Southeast region by neglecting their Maritime sector.
Sanwo-Olu commissions 1.4km Pen Cinema, Agege flyover
Governor Sanwo-Olu has commissioned the 1.4km Dual Carriageway Flyover Bridge in Pen Cinema Junction, Agege.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday officially commissioned the 1.4km Dual Carriageway Flyover Bridge in Pen Cinema Junction, Agege.
This is part of the effort by the state government to reduce the gridlock and improve the traffic situation on that axis.
During the commissioning of the project, Sanwo-Olu said that the flyover would reduce travel time and save man-hour that would have been otherwise lost to traffic on the road.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Governor said it would provide a better riding surface, leading to reduced maintenance cost; boost interconnectivity and generally make life more meaningful to commuters in the state.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said, ”One of the most critical challenges being experienced on a daily basis by residents/road users along the Agege Pen Cinema area over the years is the heavy traffic volume occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic.
”Residents and road users along this area have clamoured for a solution to the suffocating nature of the perennial traffic gridlock occasioned by the huge human and vehicular traffic, flowing through this intersection.
”To address the challenge of this huge traffic burden, our administration decided to continue with the construction of a Precast and Pre-stressed Reinforced Concrete Dual-carriage Flyover and Ramp, with road works, across the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection which was then at about 20 per cent completion.
”This is in line with the first pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda which targets the provision of roads as a critical infrastructure that will support economic activities.
“It will also enable commercial interactions and ensure ease of commuting from one part of the state to another through the elimination of traffic gridlocks,” he said.
While speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that the project in its entirety consisted of a dual carriageway 1.4km Flyover Bridge component with two lanes of 3.65m width each in either direction with ramps, including the rehabilitation of five adjoining roads.
She said that the construction of a flyover across the Pen-Cinema intersection in addition to the spur linking old Abeokuta road which was conceived in September 2017, was seen as the solution to the transport/traffic problem on that axis.
What you should know
- The Agege Pen-Cinema Flyover project was started by the immediate past administration of the former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in December 2017.
- The project is expected to crisscross Oba Ogunji Road and Pen Cinema area and over the railroad, terminating at the Agunbiade Street or Oke-Koto area of the Agege community. The bridge also extends to the old Abeokuta highway into Abule Egba.
- The flyover which was conceived to solve the perennial traffic on that axis has a total length of approximately 1.4 Kilometres and it is designed to have streetlight facilities and pedestrian walkways.
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