Terminal Operators Urge Manufacturers To Evacuate Products At Apapa Port


Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) has called on manufacturing concerns to evacuate their products from Apapa port by barges to ease the gridlock on roads leading to Lagos ports.
Making the call midweek in Lagos the spokesman for the association, Mr Bolaji Akinola, said that some manufacturing companies used trucks to evacuate their products from their factories located in Apapa.
“Everyday, no fewer than 400 trucks are needed by Flour Mills Nigeria Plc to move its products to the market, “ he said in a statement.
Akinola said in addition to the manufacturing companies, Honeywell Flour Mills and BUA Sugar Refinery, both located within the Tin Can Island Port Complex, also attract a large number of trucks to Apapa and its environs.
He said that Honeywell, with a daily production capacity of about 2,000 tonnes also required 200 trucks to move its products to the market daily.
“While BUA’s over 500-tonne daily output requires more than 50 trucks daily to move finished products to the market.
“The point that stands out here is that collectively, these manufacturing concerns located within Apapa attract close to 1,000 trucks daily,” he said.
Akinola said that if government compelled the manufacturing concerns to evacuate their products from Apapa by barges, the gridlock “will ease considerably”.
He said, “The issue really is about the failure of infrastructure in and around Apapa. It is also about the failure of the roads and the failure of railways and inland water transportation.
“Apart from these manufacturing concerns, the preponderance of tank farms in Apapa is also a huge attraction for trucks.
“Everyday, more than 3,000 tankers are required to lift petroleum products from the numerous tank farms in Apapa.
“How about suspending the operations of these tank farms until they’re able to move products out of Apapa by rail and barges?”
The STOAN spokesman said that the multi-security task force, ‘Operation Restore Sanity in Lagos’, set up to address Apapa gridlock would not achieve its mandate until certain fundamental issues that gave rise to the gridlock are addressed.
He said: “The problem is that the road network leading to and out of Apapa is bad.
“Also, there are no parking lots for this large number of trucks descending on Apapa. The gridlock you see and its spillover effects all over the Lagos metropolis will persist until these core issues are addressed.”
Akinola also called on government to de-emphasise the use of roads for the haulage of heavy cargo.