From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
More solutions to the Apapa gridlock are on the way as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and APM Capital have entered a partnership to extend the use of barges to evacuate containers from the ports beyond Ikorodu to Epe soon.
The NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, said while hosting a team from AP Moller Capital in Lagos Wednesday that the problem of Apapa access road seemed intractable because of decade-long decadence, caused by multiplicity of problems.
She recalled that NPA had made several efforts, including contributing N1.8 billion to rehabilitate the road at a time, as well as coming up with the call-up system, which would soon be upgraded to become electronic.
Usman, who said the agency would continue to consult with stakeholders across all levels, as infrastructure provision is crucial for sustainable ports operations, assured that they would build on their synergy with stakeholders, according to a statement by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mr. Adams Jatto.
On their part, the Senior Investment Advisor, APM Capital, Fleming Dalgaard, assured that a jetty and truck park would be constructed to facilitate movement of cargo with barges from the port, just as the firm would provide technical capital, competence and experience, financial capacity and other required resources.
Issues agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) included that the NPA, on realizing that infrastructure is the solution to the gridlock problem, entered discussions with APMC, which “has indicated interest, technical capacity, competence, experience, financial capacity and other required resources to execute or cause the project required resources to execute.
“The project being contemplated include the construction of a jetty and truck park to facilitate the movement of cargo by barge from the ports. APMC understands that some associated investments, like construction of truck holding bays, may be required to support the options.
“APMC intends to commit financial and human resources to further explore these solutions even though the exact nature of infrastructure to be provided may differ from the option currently being envisage in the course of further studies and time spent on the project.”