SIFAX Group canvasses port access roads’ reconstruction, not palliatives
Container-laden trucks on the failed Mile2-Apapa Road.
By FRANCIS EZEM
The SIFAX Group, an indigenous conglomerate has made a strong case for a complete reconstruction of the port access roads, most of which are in a terrible state of disrepair not palliatives in order to save businesses from the impending shut down.
General Manager, SIFAX Off Dock Limited, Mr. Oliver Omajuwa, who spoke at the weekend, urged the Federal Government to fix the port access roads as a matter of urgency, especially the Tin Can Island Port–Coconut end of the Mile 2-Apapa Road, which is in a deplorable state, rather than engage in another round of adhoc palliative work, which will not stand the test of time.
He noted that with heavy rains coming very early in February, it is clear that 2018 would be a year of heavy rains, with devastating effects on businesses operating in the axis as well as other road users.
He said: “With the current deplorable state of the Coconut end of the Mile2-Apapa Road, there has been tremendous delay in container transfers from various ports where we receive consignments. This has resulted in loss of revenue as the company cannot charge client until containers are successfully received at our terminal. For every additional day containers are delayed due to the bad access roads, bonded terminals operating around the ports and environs lose revenue in storage, idle man hour, electricity power wastage, because the terminals must be powered whether the containers come in or not, overtime and inconvenience allowances to members of staff as well as other mobilisation cost to various groups and agencies”
The SIFAX Off Dock boss noted that it is a very difficult time for businesses located around the Coconut axis as their bottom line is daily eroded with various interventions on the road. He explained that once every two weeks, SIFAX Off Dock provides its own palliative on the road by filling some bad portions (Coconut & Sunrise axis) with about 50 truck-loads of hardcore stones and sometimes when container-laden trucks are stuck in the craters on the road, the company moves out its equipment such as reach stackers and others to salvage the situation.
“The palliative measures currently embarked upon by stakeholders around the axis are not moving as fast as expected. The road is in a terrible state and it’s already threatening the existence of all businesses around Coconut area. Although the government has awarded the reconstruction of the road to Dangote Construction Company starting from Oworonshoki, I want to urge, as a matter of urgency, that the reconstruction of the stretch of road should start at the coconut axis. This is necessary because when the rainy season comes, businesses will be forced to shut down and this would amount to revenue loss to the government and private companies while workers would also not be spared as job loss usually comes with failed businesses,” he also said.