Expert wants ports access roads repairs priority

Capt. Dennis Osah, Former President NAMM

 Capt. Dennis Osah, a former President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has urged the incoming Transport Minister to consider fixing the ports access roads as top priority.

Osah, in an interview in Lagos that trade would not be complete if the goods were unable to get to their final destinations on time due to dilapidated roads.

``The incoming minister should try and resolve the issue of access and exit from the ports.

``A situation where ships come into ports and goods are kept in the port for so long without much hope of evacuating them from the ports to their users, to their consumers, is not good enough.

``I don’t know what they may have to do, but they have to take drastic steps to ensure that goods are able to leave the ports and goods are able to access the ports again.”

Osah said it was sad that such an important issue as repairs of ports access roads was coming at a time when the nation was experiencing dwindling revenue from crude export.

He said it was, however, it was a lesson and a prompting to do the needful to be able to move containers through more effective and more economic means like the railway.
``It is a shame that now we are talking about this at a time when there is no money; when the crude oil, which is our only source of revenue, has dwindled and it highly needs funds.

``But even so, maybe it is at this time that they should be planning for things like that, so that when this phase passes and we have more funds coming, they can start thinking about addressing these issues, so that we have long-lasting solutions to this situation.

``We have to go away from such situations where you have a long line of trailer loads going from one place to the other, when a railway coach can take about a hundred containers at a time, may be 200 containers at a time and night and day the trains could be moving.’’

The master mariner said that if the advice was taken, the issue of trailers blocking the main arteries to the ports and thereby to the nation’s economy would be resolved.

He said the consideration for the repairs of the port access roads should not be limited to Lagos ports alone, but should include Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar.