The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Maritime branch, has said that there is a truth in the recent report that the country is losing over $20 billion yearly to the poor state of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and other port access roads.
It called on the incoming administration to take urgently rehabilitate the Apapa ports access roads, specifically the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, warning that the situation can completely kill Nigerian ports at the benefit of the ports of the neighbouring West African countries.
President General of the association, Comrade Ya’u Adamu Gora, who stated this in Lagos week while speaking with some maritime journalists, further warned that the Nigerian economy would totally collapse if the present state of the port access roads are allowed to continue for another two years.
He blamed the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for the dilapidation of the port access roads, saying his association had extracted commitment from the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman to set up a special fund to reconstruct the road and save the Nigerian economy from collapsing, “she ready and equal to the task but the ministry will not allow her to do it.
“The situation has reached an emergency situation but the authorities seem not to be noticing it. Today it takes a truck over 10 days to reach the port from Mile 2, the normal things most importers use to do by sending trucks to ports to pick up their cargoes and return to their warehouse in Kirikiri, Ijora and around Amuwo Odofin is no longer possible because it will take up to 15 days to achieve. Just about four five years ago, the trucks can do such trips two three times a day.
“The appropriate way to describe the true state of the Nigerian economy today in view of the situation at the ports is an economy on a standstill,” he said.
Comrade Gora further said that his highest expectation from whoever emerges the President of Nigeria is a declaration of a state of emergency on the Apapa gridlock with the view of ensuring that port access roads are rehabilitated without any further delay.