Concerns mount over dilapidated quay aprons at seaports

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, has said the agency is conducting survey of major port terminals, adding that there has been a rising concern about the dilapidated quay aprons at Nigerian ports.

Bala-Usman said the NPA had received complaints from terminal operators that the quays at the terminals were too weak to accommodate the cranes and other heavy equipment imported by the concessionaires.

She spoke to a delegation from the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders who paid a courtesy visit to her office recently.

She said the agency was doing a conditional survey of the quays in Tin Can Island port.

The NPA MD also reportedly said the rehabilitation of the quays at Ikorodu Lighter Terminal was at 80 per cent completion.

She said “We have actually issued out a consultancy service to do a conditional survey of the quays in Tin Can Island port, on that basis we are going to have a clear perspective on what needs to be done to address the state of the quays.

“However, even if the quays in Tin Can Island are rehabilitated, Nigeria still needs to have a deep seaport, so whether the infrastructure status is optimal or not, we need to have deeper draft which would enable us compete favourably as the shipping industry changes to recognise the larger vessels.

“At Ikorodu terminal, we are rehabilitating the quays; the contractor has reached 80 per cent work completion to ensure strong quays are provided to use the place for agric processing.

She said barges were being used to convey agric export cargoes to and from the terminal in order to ease congestion at the Apapa ports.

“Terminal operators have lamented that the larger cranes they bring in are too heavy for the strength of the quays, so they want us to reinforce some of these quays before they would be able to deploy heavier cranes that need stronger quays to be mounted,” she stated.

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