Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have commenced investigation on the N600 billion monthly revenue loss at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.
The N600 billion loss was caused by infrastructural decay at Lagos Ports. The situation was brought to the attention of the House by Honourable Benjamin Bem, who sponsored a motion tagged, ‘Loss of Over N600 billion Monthly Revenue from Apapa Gridlock/Congestion and the Dilapidated Terminal Infrastructure in Some Terminals.’
While the lawmakers directed its Committee on Privatisation and Commercialization to find a lasting solution to the gridlock on the Apapa and Tin Can Island access road, Bem said that during a visit to the port by the committee on November 29, 2019, some damaged parts of the transition slabs were noticed.
The damaged parts, he said, were as a result of the “sand erosion from underneath the apron’s deck due to the collapse of the quay wall.”
Jobs also at risk: The Reps member said the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and other relevant government agencies must act fast to fix the decaying infrastructure in and around the Apapa terminals.
The added that the RORO Tin Can Island terminal alone provides over 500 direct job opportunities to Nigerians and over 3,000 indirect employment.
Bem said with the current state of unemployment in Nigeria, it was advisable for Nigeria to ensure the terminal jobs were not affected by the poor infrastructure at the port.
Nairametrics had reported that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria might rise to 33.5% next year from the current rate pegged at 23.1%.
He said urgent intervention was necessary to prevent the collapse of the quay wall/apron at Tin Can Island Port.
“The House is worried that the collapse of the quay wall (retaining wall) and the apron area of the terminal, which has the length of 438 meters, could lead to closure of the only terminal that receives vehicle cargos from across the world into Nigeria being closed and loss of huge revenue accruable to government and loss of jobs to many Nigerians.
“The House is further worried that the RORO Tin Can Island terminal alone provides over 500 direct job opportunities to Nigerians and over 3,000 indirect employment to auxiliary business individuals and corporate bodies around the terminal.
“At the height of rising indices of unemployment in Nigeria, urgent measure must be taken by the NPA, Bureau of Public Enterprises and other relevant government agencies to fix the decaying infrastructure in and around the Apapa terminals.
“The House is disturbed that the poor state of the quay wall/apron at Tin Can Island Port complex constitute a major threat to the survival of the entire port, as it may collapse at any moment if an urgent step is not taken to arrest the ugly trend.”
While the lawmaker admitted that the collapse and closure of the port would render millions jobless, he said the port is a key contributor to Nigeria’s economy. He advised in a Punch report that the Federal Government should take up its responsibility by fixing the deplorable infrastructure through NPA.
He said, “The House is convinced that Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos are the gateway to Nigeria’s economy. With huge accruable revenue, they employ thousands of Nigerian citizens.
“The collapse of the quay wall/apron and subsequent closure of the port will render millions jobless and further cripple economics activities in and around the port in particular and Nigeria in general.”