…Laments On State Of Nigeria Ports Infrastructure
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has embarked on Nigeria economy outlook for year 2020 in order to find out what has happened between last year and this year and the challenges facing the sector.
The delegate which was led to Nigerian Shippers’ Council on Saturday, decries the poor state of infrastructure and various challenges frustrating activities of the Nigerian ports.
Senior Resident Representative Mission chief to Nigeria, Amine Mati who led the delegate disclosed that the visit was imperative in order to censor the various challenges and happenings in the port.
Addressing media men after their visits to three terminals which includes APMT, GDNL and PTML, Mati stated that the port is still marred with several challenges according to the information gathered from the operators ranging from lack of good roads, lack of scanners in the port, national window among other challenges. “As part of our work, we are meeting all stakeholders trying to find out what has happened.“We are trying to find out what has happened to Apapa port. Logistics is very important so we are trying to find what is happening not only by meeting you but by going to the field and see the ports and see the challenges with our own eyes” he said.
He explained further that part of what the delegate came to see are the port activities, the challenges,the priorities and policies that have been put in place particularly scanners, customs Windows, national windows that will be needed to try and accelerate process, including the state of the road knowing fully well that port is part of important economic activity of Nigeria.
Mati added that there are challenges as the port authority themselves and different operators recognise it and some of the priorities which was told to them was about Logistics, the roads, the scanners, the single window, having the Customs clearance system and also outside the port, the infrastructure has to be put in place.
Earlier speaking, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello, said that the review of the outlook was important especially as Nigeria is facing challenge of diversification of the economy.
He admitted that the port is yet to be efficient but added that government is making efforts to forestall all the challenges.
He disclosed that efforts are on to link the port with rail and also that the port roads are under construction.“We are visiting three terminals. There is container terminal which is the APMT, we have RoRo terminal and also multipurpose terminal which is the Greenview Development Nigeria Limited.“Your review of the economic outlook is very important in Nigeria especially now that Nigeria is facing economic challenge for diversification for source of revenue.
“It is important that the economy of the port be given attention. Nigeria is at the centre of West and Central Africa, it is the largest economy in Africa and Nigerian Port attracts sixty percent of the cargo in the sub-region.
“So the mandate of Shippers Council is cut out for it to make the port more efficient because we are in competition with the ports in the region we want to attract cargo because we want Nigeria to be the hub.
“Of course there are constraints and these constraints are that we lack much efficiency in the port because the ports are private driven having been concession about ten to twelve years ago to private sector because we believe private sector should lead in the sector.
“However there are logistics problems one of which is infrastructure. Certainly the road to the port is a challenge and government is now working in constructing roads leading to the port.
“Besides, the government is also introducing the rail system into the port because the problem is using only one mode of transport” Bello quipped.