The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria has said private terminal operators at the seaports invested N538bn in port development from 2006 after the concession of the ports to December 2017.
The spokesperson for STOAN, Dr Bolaji Akinola, said this in a statement made available to our correspondent while reacting to other issues he said were responsible for the Apapa gridlock.
He said, “The major challenges facing port operations in the country are dilapidated port access roads, poor traffic management, and manual examination of cargo by Customs.
“Terminal operators, like other business entities in Apapa, are victims of the dysfunctional state and chaos on the port access roads.
“Private terminal operators at the seaports invested N538bn in port development from 2006 when the ports were concessioned to December 2017.”
Akinola described the port terminals as well-organised and efficient, saying, “Concessionaires have done very well to ensure efficiency in their various terminals. The major problem is the road.”
He said, “Terminal operators do not have any role to play or responsibility to bear on the road. We don’t own the road; we don’t control the roads, and we don’t control happenings on the road. We cannot control the security agencies saddled with the responsibility of managing traffic on the road.
“Terminal operators, more than any other entity in the logistics chain, bear the brunt of the Apapa traffic congestion because it hampers the evacuation of cargo from the port.
“The business of terminal operators is to keep trade moving. We don’t make money from cargo sitting at the terminal. Our profitability is in the volume of cargo we handle; so, it is in our best interest for cargo to leave the port as soon as possible.”