National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); Mr Tony Nwabunike has called on the Federal Government to declare emergency on the ongoing reconstruction of the roads along ports’ corridor in Apapa.
The ANLCA President made the calls, in a statement he issued on Wednesday as his goodwill message to Muslim faithful and members of the association to mark this year’s Eid –El Fitri celebrations.
Nwabunike also acknowledged that, as the second highest revenue earner, Nigeria’s maritime industry is the nation’s economic low hanging fruits that is capable of cushioning the temporary effect of dwindling oil revenue.
He said: “While the government is consciously trying to address the Apapa gridlock, I implore that an emergency be declared to expedite the ongoing road construction works”.
According to him, the emergency could be in the form of the contractors handling the road project to be on site round-the-clock.
“This could come in form of 24 hours work by construction workers especially when the rains subside”, he stated.
“Any stop gap solution to Apapa traffic is bound to suffer setback of either extortion or other forms of sabotage until the roads are fully constructed for seamless access to the ports either through Apapa-Oshodi Expressway or Apapa- Ijora axis.
“I also implore that the Port Harcourt to Eleme axis of the East West road and the adjoining portion leading to Onne port, where you have a beehive of maritime activities, be attended to in good time for the collective benefits of government and port users”, he pleaded.
He also harped on the state of the Nigerian economy, especially the falling crude oil price.
He said: “As the second highest revenue earner, Nigeria’s maritime industry is the nation’s economic low hanging fruits capable of cushioning the temporary effect of reduced oil revenue.
This year’s fasting and Eid- El -Fitri celebration are instructive , coming at a time the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had declared that it would deduct N112 billion from oil and gas proceeds for April to ensure continuous supply of petroleum products to the country and guarantee energy security.
Implications includes not having oil revenue for the federal government to share with the states and local governments.
This situation is premised on the hike in crude oil prices on the deregulated downstream sector and the need for uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to citizens”.
The ANLCA President also called for a robust maritime security attention stating that the move will go a long way in fighting piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea and our country’s territorial waters.
He also stressed that further development of our maritime potentials will be a bold step towards economic diversification for job creation, addressing insecurity and positioning the ports for hub status in the West and Central African regions.