FG approves N72bn PPP project for Apapa, Tin Can Port Roads …Set to begin Wreck Insurance Policy
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority Hadiza Bala Usman flanked on the left by the Executive Director of the authority in charge of Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello- Koko and on the right by the Chairman Nigerian Ports Consultative Council NPCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin at the just concluded quarterly meeting of the NPCC in Lagos Thursday.
BY FRANCIS EZEM
Worried by the worsening state of seaport access roads in Apapa and the attendant delays to port operations and loss of human lives due to recurrent accidents, the Federal Government has approved a total of N72billion for the reconstruction of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports project.
This is sequel to the approval granted by the Federal Executive Council FEC, the nation’s apex policy body for the reconstruction of both roads, which are in a terrible state of disrepair under a Public, Private PPP, arrangement in which the government is to provide N72billion counterpart funding.
According to Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, the Federal Government has also concluded plans to commence a Wreck Insurance Policy WIP on all vessels calling to the nation’s seaports as part of efforts to accelerate operational efficiency and navigational safety in the seaports.
The MD, who spoke to major stakeholders of the nation’s maritime industry at a one -day quarterly summit organised by the Ports Consultative Council PCC in Lagos Thursday, disclosed that the wreck insurance policy will provide avenue for the port management to evacuate abandoned vessels in the nation’s territorial waters.
While commenting on the issue of trucks and access to the nation’s seaports, said very soon only trucks that are housed in the proposed trailer parks will be allowed entry into the port locations; adding that “the management is to deploy an electronic call-up system that allows access to the ports only when they are needed”
She told the meeting that the Apapa Wharf Road reconstruction project has reached 85 per cent completion, while assuring stakeholders that the road would be fully completed in the next four to six weeks period.
She however stressed that the efficient utilisation of inland water transportation was key to resolving the massive congestion experienced regularly on the ports access roads.
Hadiza Bala Usman also disclosed that a company Connect-Rail, which is one of the private components engaged by the authority to provide barge evacuation, is currently moving cargoes and several tonnes of containers between Ikorodu to the terminals through the water ways.
“The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority is fashioning out ways on how it can use the waterways farther even away from Ikorodu to other locations to really ease the congestion out of Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports axis”, the MD also said.
Speaking on the importance of the Port Consultative Council meeting, the convener and chairman of the Council, Otunmba Kunle Folarin said that the meeting is strategic and an avenue to examine issues relating to the operations of the Port Industry especially as it concerns Port operators.
Otumba Folarin, who described the current MD of the NPA in three words: decisive, resourceful and engaging, said that at the end of the meeting, the council always comes up with a blueprint that would enhance efficient port operation and management.
He insisted that the MD addresses issues that affect port operation in its entirety, which is germane for efficient port administration and competitiveness.
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