From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
In response to the protracted gridlock and difficulties in accessing the Lagos ports, especially for cargo services, indigenous multinational, SIFAX Group, has opened a new container terminal in Lagos.
The facility, sited on an 11-acre land along the Ebute Metta Creek on Ijora Causeway, with access to both barge (by water) and road, will leverage technology and innovations to deliver an unparalleled customer experience and deliver cutting-edge inland container services.
Addressing guests at the commissioning of the facility on Wednesday, the Group Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, said the company invested in the facility to make cargo clearing a wonderful experience as opposed to what currently obtains in Apapa.
Afolabi, who was represented by the Group Managing Director, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, said the new terminal “is our modest response to a major issue in the maritime industry – access to Lagos ports.
“The logistics nightmare in Apapa, occasioned by the traffic congestion experienced by port users, compelled the group to look for a solution that addresses this seemingly intractable problem. With this terminal, agents, truckers and consignees don’t have to go to the ports before getting their consignments cleared.”
According to him, the facility has unique advantages, including that consignments would be transferred primarily through barges from both Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, while the good road network in the area also offers clients faster and efficient cargo clearing.
“Another key advantage of this terminal is that it is IT-driven,” Afolabi said. “The Group has decided to invest in technology to sustain the business to our clients’ satisfaction.”
On its part, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) commended SIFAX Group for its solution-driven mind-set and aggressiveness in pursuing the dream of getting the terminal ready for operations in record time.
NPA Managing Director, who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Onari Brown, assured the agency’s support and cooperation in realising the vision of the new business.
Similarly, the Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium and Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, commended the company for always being at the forefront of innovations in the nation’s maritime sector, even as indigenous players begin to take over operations from foreigners.