Joe Sanni (ANLCA)
The solution is simple- our leaders are uncommitted to serving the people. If you are in public office and you are supposed to serve the people, for God’s sake even if you can’t do everything, do something so that anybody that is coming up will continue from where you stopped. We have been shouting about the traffic in Apapa caused by the terrible bad roads and environmental pollution.
Secondly it is affecting trade facilitation, there is no way you will release a container inside the ports, do you think it will get to the destination within an hour or even 10 days because of the roads. What is wrong with us, why can’t we fix the roads and they are making so much money through the ports.
Nnadi Ugochukwu (NAGAFF)
The problem is not bigger than the country; only that we have refused to do the right thing. The problem is, as long as drivers must return empty containers to the ports and carry loaded containers out of the ports, that problem will persist. Because, many of them will be on the roads waiting until they have loads to carry, that is when they will now rush to the ports to carry. And looking at operating holding bays none of the shipping companies operating in Nigeria except Maersk Line, and Grimaldi are the only people that can operate holding bays, the other ones cannot afford to operate holding bays. So the best thing is for NPA to concession a place outside the ports where once a container is coming out of the ports to load, that container will not come back into the port, it will go back to the holding bay. But NPA should ensure that every container that leaves the ports should go to holding bay outside the ports. They should use KLT Phase 2 all empties can go there and also Ikorodu and badges will be used to carry these empties to the ports. Even loaded exports can also go to that place so that containers will not been seen around Apapa or Tin-Can except they want to go and load.
Jones Idemili (AREFFN)
It is not bigger than Nigeria, the problem with the road is human factor, because we are the people causing most of the problems. Though we know that there are problems in terms of the roads, but the major problem there is human factor. Government agencies on the axis are not helping matters at all. Everybody is aware that the problem with the axis is human factor because if people are using the roads the way it we won’t have any problems you give an instruction, people will go against the instructions and be doing another thing. There are many things that happen underground and this is not the forum for us to say it.
Stanley Ezenga (NAGAFF)
The terminal operators should improve their cargo handling capacity. The problem is not bigger than Nigeria. The rate at which terminal operators evacuate their empty containers is a major challenge, because you find out that sometimes trucks can be on the queue for up to 10days. Frank Ogunojemite (President APFFLON)
I believe the government is deliberately leaving the situation to be worse, because if the government loses the situation, who else could be in control, and I also believe that the gridlock is a conspiracy among the investors of shipping companies and terminal operators to be ripping Nigerians of their money. Inua Muhammed (Vice President Dry Cargo Section Narto)
To resolve this gridlock, I believe there is no amount of taskforce that will be set up after this task team that would work more than this one that is working presently, I believe the government must have the political will to resolve this issue of gridlock, they must mandate the shipping companies to have their holding bays outside the port to receive their empty containers, mandating that any shipping company that failed in adhering to the directive should be sanctioned and probably their license should be revoked, because if there is no seriousness things will not be in place. Capt Alfred Oniye (Stakeholder)
I believe the problem can be resolved in its entirety, NPA and Ministry of transport know what to do to tackle this gridlock, because the entire gridlock is a scam, there is what we call inter modal transportation that is using all means of transportation to get to your destination. We are talking about the congestion on the roads whereas we have abandoned the water transportation, if your container for instance is going to Ondo state, your truck does not have business in Apapa, because we have barges that can move the containers from Apapa port to Ondo state.
sIf you have a containers going to ijebu, your truck dont have any business to be at Tin Can or Apapa, there are smaller boats that can move your containers to Ijebu watersides, there are jetties there. We also need to ask NPA, what are they doing to open smaller ports in the country for all these containers.
We also need to ask how effective is our railway, if we harness other means of transportation rather than relying on the road alone i believe the problem of traffic gridlock will be resolved.