The House Committee on Ports and Harbor has applauded the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) for reforms embarked upon at the nation's seaport and its effort at ensuring that the port are run efficiently.
The Chairman House Committee on Ports and Harbor, Garuba Muhammed, stated this when he led members of his committee to a familiarisation visit to the Apapa port and the NPA head office at Lagos, recently.
According to him, "We are very impressed with what they are ding although they are operating under very difficult condition, even with that they are doing their best particularly on this issue of cargo clearance within the port complex and the issue of this gridlock. NPA is not the only institution involved in traffic management process in Apapa, other stakeholders are involved. I think there are a lot of improvements in the operations of the port."
On the issue of multiple checks at the port, he said, "I think there is a presidential committee looking at it and we as parliament too we will look at to ensure the ease of doing business in the port is enhanced. There is no point after comprehensive checks at the port subjective same cargo for further checks a few kilometers outside the port. I think it is part of the thing that is creating problems in the port.
He called on shippers to think about Nigeria first by exporting goods that of international standards.
On his part, the representative of Apapa Federal Constituency, Egberungbe Muftau, also praised the NPA for port reforms.
According to him, "What we have seen is an insight into what exactly the port entails and what the NPA has been doing. I have been a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and I know the challenges of Apapa. Since I got into the national assembly I have moved two motions on the Apapa traffic and advanced that the acquisition of modern scanners that will enhance clearing process.
"Also advanced that cargo tracking equipment should be procured by the customs so that you can monitor cargo even on the high sea. Similar to these two is the issue of the bad road. I want to admonish that the law setting up the NPA should be reviewed to allow NPA construct port access roads just as they have retained revenue for maintaining roads outside the port."
The Apapa Port Manager, Funmilayo Olotu who received the committee said the NPA has put many things in place to ensure port efficiency.
The NPA, she added, has since the current administration came on board, been evacuating cargo by rail a development that was rare in the port in the past.
"When I said we are now moving cargo by the three intermodal transportation system, I am comparing what we have now to what it used to be in the past. O the last one month they have started working on the rail to enhance operations. It got to a time when terminal operators who use the rail had more customers. We are also using the Ikorodu lighter terminal as cargo transit point to reduce pressure on Apapa