Terminal operators hit back at Ameachi —- absolve themselves from traffic gridlock on port access roads
According to Akinola, operations inside the port terminals across the country are well organised and professionally coordinated by port operators, otherwise known as concessionaires.
He said, “The port terminals are well organised and efficient. Concessionaires have done very well to ensure efficiency in their various terminals. The major problem is the road.
He said terminal operators, more than any other entities in the logistics chain, bear the brunt of the Apapa traffic congestion because it hampers the evacuation of cargo from the port.
“The business of terminal operators is to keep trade moving. We don’t make money from cargo sitting at the terminal.
Akinola said the fact that the roads were cleared and rid of the notorious traffic anytime President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lagos “shows that security operatives know what to do to deliver us all from the pains we suffer daily from the gridlock.”
“In 2019 when the President visited Lagos, the otherwise intractable Apapa gridlock disappeared. The gridlock also disappeared on June 10, 2021, when he visited to commission the rail line and the Deep Blue project.
“It should be noted the problem with the roads leading into and out of Apapa is caused by bad roads, numerous checkpoints mounted by security agencies and rickety trucks.
“The trucks that have a direct business to do at the port are less than half the number of trucks you see on the road. The other half consists of petroleum tankers heading to petroleum jetties/tank farms and trucks owned by some Apapa-based manufacturing concerns such as Honeywell, Flour Mills and Dangote, among others.
“A few days ago, the Acting Managing Director of Nigerians Ports Authority (NPA) Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko said NPA counted about 30 checkpoints mounted by security and traffic management officials on the roads in Apapa.
“The truth is that those who mount these illegal checkpoints are profiting from the chaos they deliberately create. It has nothing to do with terminal operators. We cannot control the activities of these government officials. Only government can call them to order,” he said.
Akinola said private terminal operators at the seaports invested N538 billion in port development from 2006 when the ports were concessioned to December 2017.
He said the ports have become much more efficient than they were before the 2006 port concession, “but those who thrive in chaos desperately want to cast aspersion on the concession exercise because orderliness does not benefit their pockets”.
“Port concession has endured and it is the most successful privatization exercise of the Nigerian government.
“The Federal Government’s revenue from the ports has more than tripled 15 years post-port concession. Port workers’ welfare has been enhanced significantly and they are now among the best-paid workers in the country.
“We have since addressed the chaos inside the port but those who profit at the expense of Nigerians have moved the chaos to the roads. Unfortunately, we have no control over the roads,” he added.
Traffic gridlock returns to Apapa port as Federal government closes Total bridge for maintainance works
“Given the impact the closure will have on Port users, the Authority in partnership with LASTMA, Police, FRSC, and the Nigerian Navy have worked out alternative routes and are on the ground to manage the traffic situation in the affected areas.
“The Authority wishes to solicit the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders as we continue to support measures to mitigate the temporary disruptions, the NPA pleaded.
NIMASA collaborates with NCC to regulate submarine cable operation for enhanced navigational safety on Nigerian waters
The eyewitness reporter
Apparently alarmed by the indiscriminate laying of communication cables and pipelines underneath the Nigerian waters by telecommunications operators and other allied professionals which has the potential of harming the safe navigation of ships, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has engaged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a strategic discussion to forge a formidable synergy with other relevant stakeholders with a view to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.
Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of Doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters.
“Our focus is to ensure the safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
“NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation, urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.
NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS.
NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.
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“He passed on about an hour ago at a private hospital in Abuja. The Janaza prayers hold after the Zuhr prayers (1 pm) at the National Mosque, Abuja In Shaa Allah,”
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