Arrangements have been concluded to extend the use of barges to evacuate containers from the ports beyond Ikorodu to Epe soon.To this end, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with APM Capital to adopt barges as part of the plans to relief importers of the Apapa gridlock.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority Hadiza Bala Usman, who confirmed this during a meeting with a team from AP Moller Capital, said the problem of Apapa access road seems intractable because of decade long decadence which was caused by multiplicity of problems.
Usman recalled that NPA had made several efforts including contributing ₦1.8 billion to rehabilitate the road at a time as well also coming up with "call up system", which would soon be upgraded to be electronically operated.She assured that NPA would continue to consult with stakeholders across all levels, since the provision of infrastructure is crucial for sustainable ports operations.
Senior Investment Advisor of APM Capital, Fleming Dalgaard, assured on the construction of a jetty and truck park to facilitate the movement of cargo with barges from the port, adding that they would provide technical capital, competence experience, financial capacity and other required resources. Dalgaard commended openness of NPA adding that such transparency and efficiency were part of the quality that excite them to come forward for signing the agreement.
The agreement stipulated that: "NPA in realization of the fact that the provision of infrastructure is crucial for sustainable operation of ports has continued to pursue a programme of infrastructural investments."The NPA and APMC entered discussions and have agreed to find a lasting solution to the traffic situation in and around the ports, there is a need to provide the level of required infrastructure.
"APMC has indicated their interest, technical capacity, competence, experience, financial capacity and other required resources to execute or cause the project required resources to execute or cause the project required for the attainment of item two above.
"The project that are currently being contemplated include the construction of a jetty and truck park to facilitate the movement of cargo by barge from the ports. APMC understands that some associates investments like construction of truck holding bays maybe required to support the option in item four above.
"APMC intends to commit financial and human resources to further explore these solutions even though the exact nature of infrastructure to be provided may differ from the option currently being envisage in the course of further studies and time spent on the project".