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Terminal operators seek expansion of Apapa port areas


The Seaport Terminal
Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) on Monday called for the regeneration
of portions of the Apapa community to expand the port.

 The association’s
spokesman, Mr Bolaji Akinola, made the call in an interview with the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said this would
give more room for more access roads within the port areas.
“On the long-term,
we have recommended a total regeneration of the Apapa community. 
“What has happened
is that the town has encroached on the port. It was not so. We now have a whole
lot of activities that are not even port-related into the port.
“Certain sections of
the Apapa community, am sorry will have to be brought down and allowed as port
areas. 
“For instance, Creek
road, all that side of creek road from the Wharf down till you get to
roundabout and Liverpool. Am sorry, I do not think any business or residence or
building should be there. 
“All of those need
to be reacquired by government and the owners paid compensation and those
buildings brought down.
“That area leveled
up, made into roads and temporary holding bays for trucks and the same thing
with certain areas of the Tin-Can port. 
“So, a total
re-generation is required; more bridges and flyovers are needed; this is a plan
I believe government already has.
“So, there is a need
to implement that total regeneration of the Apapa area as a port community in
the long-term. 
“We should see that
happen within the next seven to 10 years. 
“So, these are our
recommendations and once those are done, I believe the issue of Apapa traffic
gridlock and the rest will be over. 
He said the perennial
traffic gridlock in Apapa contributed to high dwell time of cargoes at the
ports.
The maritime
consultant said this led to additional costs as cargo movement by trucks out of
the ports had increasingly been slowed.
Akinola said
government needed to reacquire portions of Apapa community which encroached on
the port areas, to build truck holding bays and other infrastructure to support
port operations.
He said while the call
for regenerating Apapa was long-term, other short and medium-term measures
including having trailer parks with modern facilities should be considered.
Akinola said this
would prevent trucks congesting the port corridors.
The STOAN spokesman
said it was crucial to fix the dilapidated roads, while proper traffic control
should be maintained.
He also suggested
evacuation of petroleum cargo done by barges to ports close to various zones
for onward distribution.

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