Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi

The Group Executive Vice Chairman of the SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, has begged the Federal Government to quickly intervene in the repair works on the Tin Can Island Port /Coconut axis of the Mile2-Apapa Expressway to avoid the imminent shut down of operations at the Tin Can Island Port, the nation’s second biggest cargo seaport.

Ports and Cargo, a major terminal operator at the Tin Can Island Port Complex is a member of the SIFAX Group.

Afolabi, who spoke in Lagos, Wednesday, noted that if not quickly fixed, there would be a looming danger of port congestion, which will negatively affect port operations and ultimately, the country’s economy, since the roads remains the only access to the Tin Can Port.

“I wish to urge the Federal Government to quickly fix the Tin-Can Island Port access — Coconut Road, even if it is just some form of palliatives.  This road has completely broken down, with attendant chaos experienced by road users on a daily basis. Moving containers from the port to bonded terminals at Okota and other surrounding areas is now an uphill task.

“You will be lucky to make in about six to eight hours, a journey that normally takes 30 minutes. At times, the road would be completely blocked with no visible movement for hours. Many agents could no longer deliver on their promise to their consignees.  We want the government to intervene urgently and save the industry from this serious infrastructure crisis. A palliative at this time will be in order, even as we look forward to a more sustainable solution to all the roads in Apapa and other deficient facilities in the port”, he lamented.

Afolabi also argued that the quick intervention in fixing the Tin Can/Coconut port access road will see a significant rise in the revenue being accrued to the government by relevant agencies. He explained that the dwindling revenue of the government from the port is partly due to the deplorable state of the port access road. “When the road is fixed, there will be an increase in the vehicular movement in and out of the ports. Consignees will quickly move their goods out of the port and will come back to get more goods, this will help increase the revenue being generated by the Customs and other relevant agencies at the port”, he also said.

Recall that the road has become almost impassable as many portions of it contain large craters and ditches, and this sorry state has made evacuation and delivery of containers and other consignments by heavy-duty trucks a tortuous experience while other port users daily groan under the weight of this unbearable condition.

It was in a desperate bid to draw Federal Government’s attention to the deplorable state of the road leading to the incessant cases of loss of lives and valuable property as a result of containers falling off the trucks that freight forwarders and other port workers embarked on a protest.

This development then prompted the Nigerian Ports Authority to commence palliative works on the failed portions of the road, which has since been abandoned, thus making the state of the road worse, especially given the increase in rain falls and excessive flooding in the area.