BusinessDay

SIFAX expands Ijora terminal, contracts CCECC for pavement construction

SIFAX Shipping ICT Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group and operator of the Ijora Inland Container Terminal in Lagos, has embarked on a massive expansion of its terminal capacity to meet the growing customer base and increasing demand.

Over the last 15 months of its operation, Ijora Terminal has acquired adjoining properties to increase its total capacity from 15,000 square meters at inception to 83,000 square meters.

In order to ensure that the terminal operates in line with global standards in terms of infrastructure, the company has contracted China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, a world-class construction company, for the construction of the terminal’s pavement.

“It sounds unbelievable that the off dock terminal is just one year old, but it has made impact in such a short period of time. Our stakeholders have been treated to a whole new experience in cargo clearance. Consignments are moved to the terminal through barges without the hassles of traffic congestion. Goods are cleared in record time while the location of the terminal makes it attractive for truckers,” Taiwo Afolabi, group executive vice chairman of SIFAX Group, said.

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According to him, these factors have helped to increase patronage and made the initial terminal capacity inadequate to satisfy the increasing demand.

Speaking at the contract signing ceremony in Lagos, Paul Van den Linden, managing director, SIFAX Shipping ICT Limited, said the strategic nature of the terminal and the need to build a durable infrastructure at the facility necessitated the choice of CCECC.

“CCECC is a notable construction company with a track record of excellent service across the country. Having expanded the size of the terminal, we needed to put the terminal floor in a world-class state and that is the reason CCECC was contracted. Due to the heavy-duty equipment that has been deployed, a super solid concrete surface that can withstand the pressure became necessary. We are excited with this agreement signed with CCECC and we are convinced they will deliver the project within the agreed time,” Linden said.

According to him, some of the future plan of the terminal, which has been positioned as a model in terms of technology deployment, modern facilities, excellent customer service and infrastructural development, include the building of a strong quay in readiness to berth feeder vessels, as well as the purchase of more cargo handling equipment and a transit park for trucks using the facility.

The terminal, which was commissioned in October 2020, was established to alleviate the difficulties experienced by various port users, including truckers, shipping lines, agents and consignees in accessing the Apapa ports due to the congestion within the area.

It operates by moving consignments to its facility through barges for onward delivery to customers, thereby avoiding traffic congestion.

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