Leading indigenous conglomerate; Sifax Group has announced its new investments, even as it said that €18million which is N7.2b is being spent by the group to acquire four cranes to boost its port operations at Port and Cargo Terminal at Tin Can Island Port.
While reeling out the company’s 5-Year Strategic Growth Plan at a Mid Year Press Conference in Lagos yesterday, Group Managing Director of Sifax Group, Mr Adekunle Oyinloye said the company has floated another subsidiary; Sky Capital and Allied Company Limited, primarily to finance its various businesses.
The new company according to the GMD carries out financial services including Bureau De Change, Finance Company Business, Assets Management Company Business and a whole lot of others.
Another business investment according to Mr. Oyinloye is that Sifax Group is a major Five Star Hotel which he announced will be commissioned in Ikeja Lagos by first half of year 2020.
Oyinloye also announced that Sifax Group has increased it’s number of bonded terminals with a recent partnership with Mid Maritime Bonded Terminal in Apapa and another expansion at the Okota Bonded Terminal.
On its investments in a new port terminal; Ocean and Cargo Terminal in Warri Delta State, Oyinloye announced that Sifax Group would soon be receiving big ocean liners at Warri terminals.
Apart from these, the Sifax Group boss reiterated the company’s giant strides in aviation business in Nigeria with Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) which he announced has been quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.He said the company was established 10 years ago and it is now dominating the skyline around the airport.
He told journalists that the group has brought new hands onboard into its management, and it has carried out a lot of restructuring plan to position itself ahead of what will happen in the maritime industry for the next five years
He however lamented that poor access roads to the port has affected the Ports and Cargo Terminal productivity in the first quarter of the year. He advised that the federal government should link the Tin Can Island Port to the rail network for easy evacuation of cargoes.
Speaking, he said “Our major challenge remains lack of access roads to and from the port, we wish the roads can be speedily restored because that was the pride of our port at one point.
A number of our consignment that spend some extra days at the port have no reason to be there if the roads were good, delivery would have been smoother, transfer would have been smoother”
“We wish the government would also think beyond the road and link Tin Can Port by rail. This again would make evacuation a bit easier. On our part, we are ready to play any role that the government wants us to play to make all these happen”
“It is quite a shame that some ports in the coast of West Africa are now taking shine off the Nigerian port, if you go to Lome port now in Togo, it is a hub, I wish that Nigeria as big in size and economy that we are, should be the hub for West and Central Africa”
He however observed Government’s in putting back the port access roads in shape, even as he assured that Sifax Group is ready to support government to ensure Nigeria retains it’s pride of place in Africa.
Others areas of challenge according to him is the lack of competent hands in crane operations.
“We have spent a lot of money on training people, the challenge is that the good hands in crane operations would not be created overnight, but as more ports get ready and busier, some of the trained hands are migrating to new ports seeking new opportunities, this is a challenge” he said
In terms of containers handled at the terminal in TEUS, he said Sifax Group recorded a slower number of volumes of container, saying that this is because other ports around us, Cotonou, Cameroon are getting smarter.
“For the second half of the year, we believe access in and out of the port might improve for the rest of the year and turn around would be better and increase business volume”
“We are paying in taxes to the federal government, to State and Local Government in millions of Naira, we are happy paying it as a responsible organization, but we want government to see this as our own contribution towards the growth of the economy as well, we are one of the biggest tax payers around here and we would be more proud if we see the impact of this tax on the streets, schools, hospitals and every socio infrastructure that touches life of Nigerians” he said
Also speaking at the conference, Managing Director of Ports and Cargo Terminal, Mr John Jenkins disclosed that four new cranes acquired at the cost of 4.5 million euro each will arrive the country in the next few months.
The cranes, he said, were acquired to complement five existing ones, bringing to nine the number of such cranes acquired by the terminal.
He said, “These four cranes will help improve our performance and turn around for vessels. They were acquired at the cost of about 4.5 million euro each and they will arrive the country in few months time.”
Speaking also, the General Manager Haulage and Logistics of Sifax, Mr. Adewale Adetayo informed that the company is acquiring 25 additional brand new trucks to be added to the 75 trucks already being used by the company for door-to-door delivery of cargoes to its clients.