By DAPO OLAWUNI
Chairperson of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) Princess Vicky Haastrup has called on the federal government to provide infrastructure and an enabling environment for terminal operators to invest more in Nigerian ports.
Addressing journalists recently in Lagos, Haastrup who is the Vice Chairman of ENL Consortium, a terminal at Apapa port, commended the opening of a container terminal by SIFAX Group at Ijora Causeway, Lagos.
Haastrup said that currently, Nigeria does not have enough ports, adding that there is still room for more investments in port terminals, container terminals and bonded terminals, given the large population of Nigeria.
Speaking, the ENL boss said “When we have the right infrastructure and the good environment is in place, I would tell you that we dont even have enough terminals yet”
“Don’t forget that Nigeria is a population of over 200million people, we dont have enough ports, there is room for more expansion, room for more port terminals and container terminals”
“However, what would support such explosion in the industry is the right infrastructure and an enabling environment. When we have got this, then we should ask ourselves what we were doing right ten years ago that we are no longer doing”
Speaking on the importance of barge operations to port operations in Nigeria, the STOAN Chairperson said barging operation is very important because the roads are in deplorable condition.
“We cannot afford not to have barging operations, government has not stopped it, Lagos State has not stopped it, neither has the minister of Transportation stopped it”
While reacting to the increase in the number of containers falling on Nigerian roads, sometimes due to poor latching, Haastrup said it is not the duty of terminal operators to ensure containers are properly latched on trucks.
“It is not the responsibility of terminal operators to assume such role, we have security agencies of government who should ensure that when a container is leaving the Nigerian port, it is well latched, terminal operators do not have such responsibility” she said.