The President of the National Association of Government Approved Frieght Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke, has said for the proposed Badagry Port to address the challenges of cargo movement within the West African sub region, there is the need to put corresponding support infrastructure like rail,good roads and modern cargo handling equipment in place.
Chief Nweke, made this assertion shortly after he and his wife were conferred with the title of Gbobaniyi and YeYe Gbobaniyi of Ilogbo Eremi Town by Oba Moses Ayinde Olaleye in Badagry Lagos, recently.
He said NAGAFF had in 2001 recommended the construction of the Badagry Port to the National Assembly but it never saw the light of day.
“I remember in the year 2001, my organisation, NAGAFF came out with a position paper to the National Assembly proposing a deep sea Port in Badagry. The idea was not just to change perception of Badagry from a slave port to a modern port for legitimate trade, but to address logistics challenges confronting the maritime industry. Unfortunately, Nigeria is busy bringing in more cargo on old structures.
“In order to make Nigeria compete with other maritime nations of the world, the deep sea port must have the capacity to handle trans shipment cargo and bring about even development. You will agree with me today that going to Apapa from Badagry for maritime activities has become a nightmare.”
The president added that with the proposed port, it will be easier for stakeholders to move cargo from Badagry to places like Abidjan and other coastal areas in West Africa.
For the port to function efficiently, he said all ancillary services like rail and modern cargo handling cranes including Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) Cranes should be put with a good road network alongside the port construction.
While thanking Oba Ayinde Olaleye for the honorary Chieftaincy titles bestowed on him and his wife, Chief Nweke said his drive for a better society through policy advocacy will be sustained. He also said the NAGAFF political arm (New Nigeria People Party) will remain focused in its resolve to building a better society.
A consortium including APM Terminals last year announces plans to construct and operate a green field port project and Free Trade Zone in Badagry, 55 kilometres West of Apapa.
Chief Executive Officer, Africa and Middle East Region of APMT, Peder Sondergaard had ealier at a forum in Lagos disclosed that the Badagry port will be one of the largest in Africa with seven kilometres of quay and 2,470 acres of dedicated yard that will accommodate container, bulk, wet (liquid), oil and gas and RORO (Roll on Roll off) sections.
The first phase of the project which is expected to be completed in 2016 will in addiction to other benefits create over a thousand jobs..