Bala-Usman Laments Slow Rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Road

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Vanessa Obioha

Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman has lamented the snail pace of the Federal Ministry of Works in rehabilitating the access roads of the Lagos Western Port.

She told newsmen at the annual long service and merit award of the agency that the Ministry’s inability to complete the Trailer Park within the Tin Can Island Park has aggravated their operations.

“We believe that the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Works needs to strengthen its capacity around access roads. We have been in discussion on access roads since I assumed office. I think the Federal Ministry of Works needs to do more in ensuring that the road is being rehabilitated. A critical example around the Lagos western port is the incomplete trailer park within the Tin Can Island Park. This is a very critical solution that will greatly assist us.”

The Tin Can Island road is in a terrible condition and a major contribution to the gridlock in Apapa today. Part of the road is completely inaccessible while long queues of trailers is a daily torment to port personnel as well as Lagosians who ply the route.

THISDAY did a research report earlier this year which captured the debilitated state of the road. Apart from the long queues, the road is now a dumping ground for refuse, a death trap for cyclists who meander through the narrow lanes unoccupied by trailers and a thriving ground for flesh hawkers and food and beverage sellers.

Over N10 billion is lost daily on the Apapa-Wharf road, according to the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote. He disclosed then that Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports handle about 80 per cent of cargoes that come into Nigeria.

Bala-Usman stated that the Nigeria Ports Authority has offered to conclude the work required for the trailer park to be functional to the ministry and hope that they will be granted permission.

“The Ministry of Work has been unable to complete that trailer park for years and also unable to conclude on what is required in terms of the Tin Can Island, Oshodi and Oworonsoki roads; we are still unable to get that. For us primarily is for the federal government to show us and indeed commence rehabilitation works for all ports access roads.”

She also revealed that the Ministry of Transportation has engaged the services of a consultant to assess the performance of all government agencies in the Maritime Industry.

“We felt the need to introduce the performance audit so the Federal Ministry of Transportation has engaged the consultant to do a performance audit of all government agencies in Maritime Industry. It is to determine how far we have gone and what is it we need to improve upon, audit ourselves and put in new measures and targets to achieve our performance.

“In addition, we have also introduced a performance based appraisal for our personnel, so our personnel will now be evaluated based on their performance, clear key performance indicators will drive our personnel promotion, achievement within our activities,” she added.

At the well-attended ceremony, the agency recognised seven outstanding personnel who were the first recipients of the Merit Award introduced this year by the present administration. Bala-Usman said “workforce is important which is why the members of staff are appreciated for their excellent works which have translated into increment in the Ports operational services.”

Other recipients of awards were the firemen and pilots who gallantly extinguished the fire outbreak at the Port Harcourt Port last August, as well as long service personnel who have served in the parastatal for 25 years and more.

Evaluating the performance of the Ports Authority this year, the Managing Director said the 2017 revenue projection has been met (N118 billion was made in a quarter) and more tremendous strides will be seen in 2018.