MD NPA Says Underground Pipes, Funds Slow Down Apapa-Wharf Road Reconstruction

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authourity; Hadiza Bala Usman has hinted that underground gas pipelines and paucity of funds are responsible for the slow pace of reconstruction works on the Wharf- Apapa road.Disclosing this to newsmen during an inspection tour of the road, Usman expressed disappointment at the rate of reconstruction currently going on the road adding that whatever was needed to increase the pace of work will be made available.The NPA boss also said that she will be meeting with the officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to ensure that whatever funds needed to work to continue the pace of work non-stop will be made available.She said: “The construction commenced on July 17 and they have not been able to reach the optimum performance as expected”“They are still within one to two per cent completion stage and one to two per cent of what they required to deploy within this period.“They have indicated the concerns and constraints they have around relocation of utilities, they have identified and found gas pipelines underneath the road works.“They are working on relocating roads and they also identified electric cables and poles that need to be relocated and other forms of utilities.“I had made them understood that their level of performance is unacceptable, they need to increase and deploy more efficiently.” “The level of work is unacceptable. I will meet with the Federal Ministry of works and Housing and the Bureau for Public Procurement and see how the pace of work on the road can be hastened”“The quality of work done so far is satisfactory but the time within which the work must be completed is now the issue and I will keep inspecting the project every four weeks”, she assured.She added that, “NPA’s aggressive continuous monitoring strategy is aimed at ensuring that all the components required to meet deadlines are achieved.”Besides the issue of funding and underground gas pipelines, officials of the Ministry of works also said that the rainy season, traffic management issues, security, logistics and supplies which are usually delivered at night were also causing challenges for the ongoing construction works.She noted that, “efficiency” is key in the NPA’s operation, thus, all stones would be turned to actualize the reason for the ports roads rehabilitation which basically cascades to the stimulation of the Ease of doing business at the ports across the country”.According to her, the role of holding bays in decongesting the traffic gridlock in Apapa is critical, pointing out that a licensing regime on the subject is being perfected between the NPA and the Lagos State Government to enable operators in this regard to have access to the ports and function under guided directives.She disclosed that the deployment of an electronic device in the management of access to the ports- through Biometrics mechanism was underway and appealed to stakeholder and residents in and around Apapa to be patient while the road reconstruction lasts.She requested of them to also contribute to the project realization by abiding strictly to necessary directives put out in respect of this in order for all in the sector to uphold an atmosphere of customer satisfaction.