Leading port operators; Sifax Group and leading multinational terminal operators, Dubai Port Authourity have commenced discussions on the establishment of a new modern port complex at a yet-to-be –disclosed location in Lagos.
The Dubai authority has shown great enthusiasm in the proposed venture which is expected to be the first direct response by an indigenous company to government’s call for the development of new port facilities or green field.
Though the details of the discussions were still top secret within the shipping sector, managing director, of Sifax Group, Dr Taiwo Afolabi disclosed that the multi-billion dollar port complex is expected to compare favourably with the best in the world.
Dr Afolabi, who was speaking on the current congestion in Lagos ports expressed the opinion that it is the failure of government to establish new ports and expand the capacities of existing ones that is responsible for port congestion
However, the indigenous terminal operator regretted that the government could not manage the success of the port concession programme through expansion of existing port facilities and development of green field.
‘With the take over of port operations by the port concessionaires, there was more efficient service delivery, port infrastructures were upgraded, modern cargo handling equipment procured and the turn-around time of vessels improved’ ,Dr Afolabi stated.
Arguing that port concession is a huge success which has led to higher cargo throughput, he lamented that limited space and corrupt and slow cargo delivery system have threatened the success leading to the current congestion.
According to him, the proposed port complex will be the contribution of the company towards diffusing tension and taking pressure off the already congested Lagos ports.
Dr Afolabi further revealed that his company, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited, operators of Terminal ‘C’ at the Tin Can Island port has added enormous value to port industry in particular and the Nigerian economy in general.