The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has today described the two Lagos Port Complexes of Apapa and TinCan Island as “overwhelmed and attained breaking points.” Gbajabiamila made this known during the opening session of a public hearing to determine why the Warri, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Onne and Onitsha River Port Complexes are not being put to maximal use.
The speaker who was represented by Deputy House Leader, Hon Peter Akpatason, added that the ports were overstretched beyond their capacities and needed the support of other ports for ease of doing business and improved economy.
Chairman of the Ports Committee on Public hearing, Hon Yusuf Buba Yakub, stated that his committee is out to query and determine why some of the ports have been operating below expected capacities. The committee, he further said, seeks to also question why the port situation has remained unpleasant in spite of the many efforts of government over the years at making the Nigerian ports virile. Such efforts he noted to be by way of building more port complexes, granting more concessions, including encouraging the active involvement of the private sector in some aspects of operations in the maritime sector.
“What this means is that about five inland port complexes in Warri, Calabar, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Onne have all failed to provide alternative or even consummate services to aid decongestion of two Lagos Ports Complexes,” he regretted.
Also speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari blamed the problems on security, lack of cooperation among agencies of government, multiple taxes, levies by some state government and depths of channels. He also blamed the Cross Rivers State government and Local Government authorities for imposing levies that tend to discourage maritime operators.