Port operations: SIFAX Group acquires new off-dock terminal
*Seeks NPA, LCM assistance in dredging the waters
By Udeme Clement:
“I want to inform you that we have acquired a new property, which will be used as an off dock and we require the assistance of Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, in conjunction with Lagos Channel Management, LCM, in dredging the waters, to allow for barges and even smaller ships to berth at this terminal”, said, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi.
Dr Afolabi disclosed this when NPA Boss, Hadiza Bala Usman visited Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, flagship company of SIFAX Group, during a tour of all terminals in Lagos, to assess impact of the lock-down on port operations in the country.
In his welcome address, the Group Managing Director of SIFAX, Adekunle Oyinloye, expressed concern on challenges experienced in their operations at the terminal, following government Executive Order on lock-down in Lagos, to curb spread of coronavirus.
He pointed out, “In reality, we have encountered a lot of challenges, including harassment, as well as detention of our staff by security agents.
“This is happening despite presenting their idenity cards and cover letter from NPA at the ports, among other challenges”.
He appealed, “We need your assistance to address these obstacles in our operations”.
He informed, “Also, in order to avoid congestion at the ports, we have stemmed some of our containers to our off dock facilities.”
In the same vein, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, John Jenkins, called for sensitisation of security agencies on port operations, stressing that more trucks be allowed from outside Lagos to access the ports and make public transport available for port workers as well.
In her remarks, NPA Boss, who was accompanied by the newly-appointed Executive Director, Marine/Operations, Mr. Onari Brown, and Tincan Island Port Manager, Alhaji Alli Umar,
assured that the challenges will be addressed appropriately.
She stressed, “Government is committed to ensuring smooth operations at seaports this period to keep the nation’s economy afloat.
“I am assuring you that we will continue to support operations of SIFAX Group and other port operators around the country.
“Any assistance required from the agency should be put in writing and forwarded to my office, because I read all letters addressed to me”.
“I will ensure that proper action is taken on such requests”, she emphasised.