• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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FG must fix port infrastructure urgently to avoid collapse – Oyetola

$800m ports rehabilitation fund almost ready, says Oyetola

Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy, has said that the Federal Government needs to urgently repair the dilapidated infrastructure in Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports to avoid collapse.

Speaking in Lagos on Monday during his maiden tour of the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports led by Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Oyetola said the visit has opened his eyes to the challenges facing port operations especially the need to actually do a lot of things about the nation’s ports.

According to him, the infrastructure at the port is almost collapsing and needs major urgent rehabilitation.

Oyetola said his government is considering the option of getting the terminal managers to contribute to the rehabilitation of the port, adding that it’s important and will enable them to make more money for themselves.

Read also: Terminal operators back Oyetola’s effort to harness blue economy

“It is going to be a collaboration between the government and the terminal operators. In the meantime, the dredging has to continue,” Oyetola said.

On the quay wall at Tin-Can Island Port, the Minister said he had asked the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority to make a report that has been carried out so far because he needs to know the numbers to be able to get the approval from the President.

Oyetola said he will be engaging with the Minister of Works to arrive at a more sustainable way to repair the port access roads to ensure efficient and effective cargo evacuation.

He said he had discussed with the Ministry of Transportation to see what could be done with the rail, adding that having good roads and a functional rail system would aid cargo evacuation from the ports.

The former governor of Osun State also applauded the Mohammed Bello-Koko-led management of the NPA for the work done so far, adding that there is a need to support them.

Read also: NPA renews trade facilitation agreement with Customs to boost export

“The Blue Economy is a sector that would generate revenue for the government, but the country needs the infrastructure to balance things. If we have the right infrastructure in place, it will be a way of domestication of the economy. We rely so much on oil and there are a lot of other opportunities that have not been untapped for so many years. I think we must commend the President for taking this initiative, I believe we can do it,” Oyetola added.

On the issue of the Eastern port, the Minister said his government will also address it and the totality of the port.

On his part, Bello-Koko commended the new Minister for visiting the ports in Lagos and for the support given to the Ports Authority to enable it to deliver on its mandate.

He assured the Minister of his management support in making his tenure successful in line with the Federal Government’s economic agenda.