Engr Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Petroleum, Industry and Mineral Resources of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (right) visits Nigeria, pledges deeper International energy cooperation between both countries as he meets with Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachukwu
Petroleum marketers with their petroleum tankers and other attendant businesses which had initially left the tank farms at Ibru Jetty due to the failed portion of the Mile2 to Coconut axis of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway are now returning to the axis gradually.
Findings by Shipping Position Daily showed that several petroleum marketers and businesses were diverted to Satelite Town area of Lagos where several tank farms had sprung up, but were lying fallow without product. Due to the hellish nature of Apapa and the traffic situation, sources told our correspondent that several petroleum tankers had moved to Satelite Town for better trading environment.
The importers lamented they had borrowed huge amount of money from banks for importation of petroleum products, especially the Premium Motor Spirit, but the investments were always tied down due to Apapa traffic.
Chairman of Committee of Tank Farm Operators within Ibru Jetty, Mr. Sabitu Ajadi told Shipping Position Daily that with the rehabilitation of the access road by Messrs AG Dangote, the number of petroleum trucks loaded per day reduced drastically from 80million litres per day to a mere 20 trucks per week.
Indications however emerged last week that the petroleum tankers have started trooping back to the axis following the successful rehabilitation of the expressway inbound Coconut-Tin Can Island Port by Messrs AG Dangote. The expressway leading to Coconut bus stop had been closed down, with a portion of the service lane also shut down in the wake of the rehabilitation.
The roads have now been opened up fully to traffic.
Also speaking to our correspondent, a Petroleum Marketer, Comrade Olanife Adeoye said that reopening the expressway has increased the number of petroleum trucks loaded daily at the various depots within Ibru jetty.
According to him, “when the road was being fixed, most importers could not bring their product through the Coconut tank farms, they had to divert their product to other tank farms located at Navy Town, near the deepwater where the trucks could easily access. At this axis, containers could not go through our expressway; they were taking the service lane so it was difficult for tankers to come in”
“The owners of the cargoes being mindful of the billions of cash they have borrowed from the banks to do the importation had to take it to where tankers would have access”
“However, they are now coming back because the containers are now having access to the expressway thereby leaving the service lane for the tankers, though some of them are still using the service lane because the expressway is not moving, however, a bulk of them are on the expressway. The containers are on about three lanes on the expressway now; the road is still very bad”.
Comrade Adeoye however said the Federal Government could have awarded the road reconstruction to Messrs Julius Berger Construction because they have their office close to the site and have their materials all available and accessible close to the expressway.