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Minister Seeks Rehabilitation Of Apapa, Tin-Can Seaports

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, said there is a need for immediate rehabilitation of the critical infrastructure at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports to forestall collapse.

The minister made this statement on Tuesday after touring the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports with Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), in Lagos.

Oyetola urged terminal operators in the ports to work with the Federal Government to repair the damaged quays and other areas in need of rehabilitation.

“To avoid the collapse of the port, we need to rehabilitate the port as a matter of urgency, and dredging must continue so we can put other things in place. I have gone around to see things for myself.

I have been having a ministerial briefing for the last 10 days and I have seen a lot of things such as the challenges and the need to activate a lot of things about our ports.

“The port infrastructure is almost collapsing with what I have seen so far, a major rehabilitation needs to be carried out, while the dredging has to continue,” he stated.

The former Osun State Governor, however, applauded the management of  NPA, saying they need to be supported to achieve the desired reports.

“I am looking forward to a situation where the terminal managers will be willing to contribute to the rehabilitation of the ports.

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It is important and if they do that, they will make more money for themselves, it should be a collaboration with the terminal and the government,” he said.

Oyetola said remedial work on the quay wall would commence very soon while calling for the report of what has been carried out so far.

He said the numbers are needed so that the ministry can get approval from the president for the remedial work.

“We need to restructure and put the right infrastructure in place and it’s a way of revitalizing the economy.

We rely so much on oil and there are a lot of other opportunities that have remained untapped for so many years and we must commend the president for creating the ministry,” he stated.

The Minister also stated that he would engage with the Ministry of Works on the rehabilitation of the port access roads.

The NPA boss commended the minister for the tour of the port’s facility, noting that it was vital to fixing the infrastructure to enable the country to regain its lost cargo as well as to boost the economy.

Earlier the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ENL Consortium, Vicky Haastrup, stressed the need for the government to come up with policies that will boost imports.

Haastrup, who is also the Chairman of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, said the government has to address policies that are negatively affecting cargo imports, especially as the terminals have more capacity to do more than what they are doing now.

She also urged the government to pay more attention to the maritime industry as it has huge potential.

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