Chairman of Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) Limited, Mr. Kotik Yehuda, said the company invested about $50 million (N7.5 billion) on infrastructure and cargo handling equipment in five years.
Yehuda, who disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos, said that part of the amount was spent on High Information Technology Systems.
He said the amount so far invested by the management of TICT was about five times more than what was supposed to be spent in the lease agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
According to him, the terminal is today the most modern terminal in line with European standards and working with the latest and first class cargo handling equipment.
“The Terminal Operating System (TOS), is connected to satellite and this is why it is possible to locate any container brought into the terminal in few seconds through the computer system,’’ he said.
Yehuda demonstrated the computerised technology in locating a container in the terminal and confirmed that “in few seconds you can easily know where your container is.’’
He said there was also a central monitoring control room with 30 cameras to monitor activities in every corner of the terminal from the Head Office of TICT outside the port.
Yehuda said that future developments in the terminal would largely depend on government policy, as expenditures would keep increasing.
He said the increase in expenditures was caused by salary raise, yearly inflation rate of about 12 per cent, increase in fuel and oil costs and increased costs of spare parts purchased in Europe.
He added that there was the problem caused by 30 per cent devaluation of the naira against the euro and the dollar.
Yehuda said that all these escalated the expenditures in the terminal and made it impossible to increase incomes.
He expressed concern that government, for unknown reasons, did not allow the terminal operators to increase their charges from inception, while other stakeholders had increased theirs.
“If we do not do this (increase terminal charges), we will have a problem of future development. The terminal operators are port stakeholders with the biggest investment,’’ Yehuda said.
The TICT boss, however, said that the current average cargo dwell time at the terminal is about 24 days, while in any other terminals in the World it was three to four days. He said that importers should not turn the terminal to a warehouse, urging them to take their cargoes out immediately. “Otherwise, we will not be able to discharge additional cargo and it may harm the Nigerian economy and create port congestion,’’ he added.
He said many challenges were confronting the management of the terminal, especially the issue of low charges.
Yehuda said the prevailing charges were too low because those were charges in place since the last five years when the concession of the ports began in 2006. He said that another challenge was access road to the terminal, which he described as “very bad.’’
He lauded the appointment of Alhaji Omar Suleiman as the new Managing Director of NPA. ‘‘With his support, everything concerning port activities will improve,’’ he said.
The Tide reports that TICT is one of the 26 terminals concessioned in 2006 by government to private terminal operators.
Traders Protest FG’s Move To Restore Festac Town
The move by the Federal Government to restore Festac Town in Lagos to its original status has sparked up protest among traders occupying Agboju Amuwo Planks and Building Materials Market.
The traders on Wednesday, protested at the FHA office in Festac Town against the demolition of their market, following the demolition of illegal structures by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) ahead of the restoration.
The Tide recalls that there was a petition to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, in 2020 about illegal structures that had taken over Festac Town.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on the restoration of Festac town organised by FHA, last year, its South-West Zonal Manager, Mr Akintola Olagbemiro, said, “This year, we commenced the restoration of Festac town, following the consent judgement from the court against illegal occupants of Festac land.
“Our action is to save the residents from the insecurity that has taken over the entire Festac town as a result of illegal structures everywhere”.
The chairman of allottees of First Gate to Third Gate, Mr Kole Olatunji, in his remarks at the meeting said the land from First Gate to Third Gate was allocated between 1985 and 1999, noting that with the consent judgment, original owners of the land as allocated should take over their plots.
But the chairman of plank market, Muhammed Bello, protested the seven-day notice given to traders to vacate the place without alternative arrangements.
Bello said: “How do they expect us to remove our wares in seven days?
“What we want is that they should allow us to remain there and we will pay whatever amount they ask us to pay”.
Speaking in the same vein, the chairman of Cane Chair and Furniture Association, Emmanuel Okoye said: “We need freedom. Let them tell us where they want us to stay. That place was swampy. We filled the place with several millions of Naira which we got as loans.
“We also rely on loans to do our business. Whatever the government wants us to pay; we are ready to pay to remain there. We have been there for 27 years. What we lost to the demolition is over N300 million”.
Fuel Tanker Explosion Kills Five, Injures Two In Ogun
No fewer than five persons were on Wednesday burnt to death, while two others sustained first degree of injury in a fuel tanker explosion at Ajilete, along Owode-Idiroko road, in Yewa South local government area of Ogun State.
Eyewitness accounts revealed that a truck bearing 33,000 litres of petroleum product was descending the steep portion of the road when its tank suddenly detached from truck’s body and tumbled to the ground with a bang.
The explosion, the witnesses said, killed five persons on the spot, while two other persons were injured.
The Tide learnt that the seven victims were all residents of the area where the accident occurred.
Confirming the incident, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Commander, Idiroko Unit, Akinwunmi Olaluwoye, said five deaths were recorded in the accident which occurred at about 8.15 am on Wednesday.
According to him, the remains of the dead had been claimed by their families.
He disclosed that a bus and a motorcycle were also caught in a web of the explosion and razed.
He said, “no vehicle rammed into the tanker. The tank dropped off from the back of the tanker and exploded. The number of persons involved are seven; five dead, two injured.
“The driver had taken away the head of the truck as at the time we got there. But we have allowed the police to take charge and handle that aspect”.
Travellers To Access $4,000 As CBN Boosts Forex Supplies
Nigerians travelling abroad can now access a maximum amount of $4,000 foreign exchange from banks following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) announcement to increase forex supplies.
The CBN had said in a recent statement that it had concluded plans to increase the amount of foreign exchange allocated to banks to meet legitimate needs.
This followed the warning by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to Deposit Money Banks to desist from denying customers the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange.
The purposes to access forex included Personal Travel Allowance, Basic Travel Allowance, tuition fees, and medical payments as well as Small and Medium Enterprises transactions or for the repatriation of Foreign Direct Investment proceeds, the CBN had stated.
Sources from some of the banks said those travelling on business trips could also access a maximum amount of $5,000 for each trip.
At a virtual Bankers’ Committee meeting last week, the bankers discussed how the CBN intended to assist with forex to ensure availability for the upcoming summer period and the return of students to school in September.
The CBN also said the BDCs would continue to have their weekly allocations.
The committee observed that the rates were going up.
It stated, “The CBN has said that all the banks must make availability at all times and anyone who wants to buy BTA, PTA, medical fees, student school fees and all the eligible invisible purchases to ensure that Nigerians are not forced to go and queue in the parallel market.
“So what the Central Bank is doing is to encourage all banks to make sure that there is available forex at all times, and that his information should be communicated on all our platforms.
“We are asking our customers to come to the branches and for BTA, for example, present the required documents, which are basically your international passport, your visa, your valid ticket and fill up the form in the bank.
“And what we have been instructed to do is ensure that we don’t turn anybody back and that we should request from the Central Bank once we exhaust the forex that we have.
“The idea is to have a hitch-free summer period and the resumption for children to go back to school. The idea is to ensure there is less pressure on the forex and then the rates will come down”.
Speaking during the virtual meeting, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said, “I think again as part of the Central Bank’s role in terms of price stability and the need to support small and medium enterprises, there was highlight of the need for banks to go and support SMEs who import small raw materials for them to set up their businesses”.
The Managing Director, Ecobank, Patrick Akinwuntan, said, “All banks are available to ensure forex need is met.”
Managing Director, Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, said the CBN had provided sufficient foreign exchange to meet the needs of all legitimate Nigerian travellers and therefore, the idea of going to any other market should not arise at all.
- Politics5 days ago
2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River
- Niger Delta5 days ago
Ayade Is Regretting Joining APC – Secondus
- Politics5 days ago
Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy
- Entertainment3 days ago
Alibaba, Banky W, Others Attend Wizkid’s Debut Album’s 10th Anniversary
- Politics5 days ago
Afenifere, Ohanaeze, S’ South Harp On New Constitution
- Niger Delta5 days ago
Diri Gives Operational Vehicles To Security Agencies
- Business5 days ago
Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA
- Business5 days ago
Air Passengers Protest Seizure Of Vehicles, Extortion At PH Airport