Lagos — The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA has flagged off the construction of the 4.5 kilometers access road ‘D’ at the Federal Ocean Terminal in Onne Port Complex to ease the movement of cargo at the port.
The 4.5 kilometers long road, which would be built with streetlights and other complementary facilities, would be delivered within a 10-months period.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, Managing Director of NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, during his maiden visit to the port weekend, said the road was part of the port expansion plan of phase 4B that was awarded to the Deep Offshore.
According to him, the cost of the project was part of the total port rehabilitation that was awarded long ago but was suspended due to some reasons.
“The road is the main artery into the Onne Port, and we have witnessed a large increase in terms of cargo and other businesses. We felt it was time we ask the contractor to go back to the site. This will ease movement into the port. While we are complaining about the roads outside the port, which is outside our purview, we want to make sure that the roads in the port are in good condition,” he said.
Earlier before the flag-off, Bello-Koko also commissioned three marine crafts including a pilot cutter, a security patrol boat, and a security boat in line with the NPA mandate to provide marine side infrastructure to support port operation.
“We are doing these things to encourage businesses to move to the Eastern Ports in order to reduce congestion in Lagos Ports by ensuring that the Eastern Ports are functional.”
On the export processing plant run by the West African Container Terminal (WACT), one of the terminal operators in Onne, he said it was part of the NPA’s strategy to work with the Federal Government to improve the export of non-oil products.
He stated: “The export terminal has the capacity to accept, arrange and bag export. It also containerize the cargo before sending the goods to the ship for export. It helps to reduce the cost and time wastage for exporters, but it also ensures that products are exported fresh in line with the international best practices.”
On the challenge of security facing businesses at Onne Port, the NPA boss said the authority is working with the Nigerian Navy to improve security along the waterways.
He assured that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has also deployed security assets under the Deep Blue Project that would be used for offshore patrols.
“We are also working to fence all the open spaces at the port that is resulting to either attack on ships or enchantment to the port properties by communities. We will ensure that the contract is awarded as quickly as possible,” he added.