Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) in Lagos received a total of 213 ships with 6.77 million tonnes of goods in the first quarter of this year, the Port Manager, Emmanuel Akporherhe, has said.
Receiving the board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) led by its Chairman, Emmanuel Adesoye on Friday, Akporherhe said the major challenge facing the port was traffic gridlocks.
He commended the persistent efforts of the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman and her team, in drawing Federal Government’s attention to the terrible condition of the Oshodi -Apapa-Oworonshoki expressway.
According to him, Tin Can Island Port was commissioned on October 11, 1977 to address the increase in volume of imports and exports brought about by the oil boom in the 1970s and the post-civil war reconstruction era.
Akporherhe urged the board to support the port with more funds to enable it carry out some renovation in the port complex.
"Our major challenge is something that is well known; the traffic gridlock, but the good news is that late last year the federal government awarded the contract of the road that is serving the ports"
"They made the contract to cover from Apapa up till Oworoshoki. I was with the Dangote representative this morning and he brought out his plan. And very soon we are going to start from Liverpool to Creek road and after that they will move to Tin Can. As we speak, they have all their plans on ground ", he said.
Explaining further he said that everything including ship throughput is tied to the bad roads.
"The throughput is tied to the road; the ship turnaround time is tied to the roads. And we are very happy that our able Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman has put enough pressure that led to the award of the road contract", he added.
Akpoherher also lamented on inadequate finance to run the day to day activities of the port.
"Another problem we are having here has been finance, you find out that no matter what amount made available, you will still see that there are many problems to solve with the limited finance. We are happy that the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) has been connected to the national greed", he acknowledged.
Responding, Adesoye said that the NPA board was visiting the ports to assess the impact of the traffic gridlocks on port operations.
“The solution to the gridlock is currently being addressed, although there are few roads and there is also the need to create more roads,” Adesoye said.
He said that by the time the railway system is operational together with the concrete construction of Mile 2 – Tin-Can Road – Oworonshoki road, the problem of gridlock on ports access roads would be reduced.
The board chairman said that the introduction of the use of barges at the Tin-Can Port, Ikorodu Lighter Terminal and Kirikiri Lighter Terminal was drastically reducing pressure on port access roads.
He said that availability of operational rail system and functional barges would also solve the problem of constant gridlock to a large extent, if not eliminate it completely.
Adesoye said that the Federal and Lagos State Government have commenced the construction of Lekki Deep seaport to enable bigger vessels call at the port.
The board visited, among others, Josep Dam Ports Service Nigeria Ltd. ENL Consortium, Apapa Bulk Terminal, Five Star Logistics and APM Terminal.