By DAPO OLAWUNI
Terminal Operators in Nigeria under the aegis of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) has condemned the slow pace of construction works on the Marine bridge in Apapa Lagos.
Chairperson of the association, Princess Vicky Haastrup while speaking with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday lamented that the slow pace of construction on the road is hampering shipping business which in turn harms economy of Nigeria.
She said it is now a nightmare for people to access the port for businesses, adding that vessel waiting time at the terminals have equally increased because trucks could no longer come into the port to evacuate cargoes.
Haastrup who is also the Chief Executive Officer of ENL Terminals, described the situation as a total disgrace on Nigeria.
“The construction of the bridge is going at a very slow pace and this breaks my heart because this bridge is very strategic”
“There is ongoing construction at Tin Can Port access road right now, so the only access to the Tin Can Port and Apapa Port is this bridge, in the past couple of weeks, I dont see a anybody working on that bridge, and the question is, why is the contractor not speeding up, for me this is a disgrace for Nigeria”
“It is such a nightmare for people to come to Apapa to do business, the maritime sector is a very strategic sector to the economy of Nigeria, the port is the gateway to the Nigerian economy, but what do we have today? It is practically a nightmare and impossible to access the port”
“Laid down time for ships is increasing by the day because trucks are people could not access the port, this is an opportunity for me to appeal to the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Works to see to it that the contractor speeds up work on the bridge and they need to be paid to continue working”
“I dont know what is happening, but I am hearing that the contractors are not being paid, I believe in this government and I know they would intervene” she said
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced its plan to completely close a section of Third Mainland Bridge for a period of two days, for repair works.
This was announced on Wednesday in a statement signed by the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Joshua Popoola.
The total closure of the section of the bridge will take place from midnight of Friday, October 9 to midnight of Sunday, October 11 to allow the contractor complete the first stage of casting works.