The failure to deliver the Trailer Park being constructed along the Apapa Oshodi Expressway last month as scheduled means motorists, port operators and all those who are connected to the expressway, one way or the other, have more pains and economic loss to endure this year, more-so with the approach of rainy season.
BusinessDay checks fingers the Federal Government and Borini Prono, the contractor handling the construction of the trailer park located opposite Tin-Can Island Port, for the delay in delivering the park, fueling fears that Apapa, Nigeria’s premier port environment, risks slipping into another round of gridlock this year.
Marine activities at both Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, though major sources of revenue for the Federal Government, have rendered Apapa and environs almost a wasteland and the trailer park, projected to serve as a breather, is turning out to be a lame intervention by the government.
A source from one of the unions in the transportation sector, who spoke with BusinessDay on Monday, accused the Federal Government of allowing narrow-interests to creep into the processes and procedures for the planned concessioning of the park, accusing the government of the delay in putting the park to use.
“We hear that the government intends to concession the park, but we have not been contacted. We do not know the processes and methods being adopted. We would have thought concessioning the park should involve competitive bidding so that the union with best capacity to manage such facility will emerge,” said a source from the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO).
An official of the Federal Ministry of Works had earlier disclosed to BusinessDay of plans to lease the management of the trailer park, which is over 80 percent completed, to Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), pointing out, however, that they were yet to perfect the lease agreement.
Over 1,000 trailers enter Apapa daily to either offload or collect goods from the two ports located within the residential cum commercial area. The ports generate about one trillion naira into Federal Government’s coffers annually but the roads leading to Apapa remain in bad shape and are often blocked by the trailers and petroleum tankers.
The ministry official had confirmed to BusinessDay that the facility would be ready for use by end of January, raising hopes of possible relief for other road users, especially those from the Mile 2-Tin Can axis of the expressway.
The trailer park being constructed as an accompaniment of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the expressway has the capacity to take off the road over 300 trucks and this is expected to free the space substantially for other road users.