In a bid to boost its operations at the Port and Cargo Terminal at the Tin Can Island Port, the Sifax Group has announced that it has acquired four cranes valued at €18million (N7.2billion).
The Group Managing Director of Sifax Group, Mr Adekunle Oyinloye, who disclosed this while reeling out the company’s five-year Strategic Growth Plan in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, said the company would continue to invest in the country to ensure Nigeria regains its status as the hub of port operations in West Africa.
He also announced that the company has floated another subsidiary; Sky Capital and Allied Company Limited, primarily to finance its various businesses.
The new company, he added, would carry out financial services such as Bureau De Change, business financing, assets management and a whole lot of others.
Oyinloye, also announced that Sifax Group has increased its number of bonded terminals with a recent partnership with Mid Maritime Bonded Terminal in Apapa and another expansion at the Okota Bonded Terminal.
The Sifax boss also announced that the Sifax Group would soon be receiving big ocean liners at Warri terminals, Ocean and Cargo Terminal in Warri Delta State.
He said the group has brought new hands on-board its management and restructured to position itself ahead of what will happen in the maritime industry for the next five years
He decried the poor state of port access roads adding that it affected its performance in the first quarter of the year.
To remedy the situation, Oyinloye advised the federal government to link the Tin Can Island Port to the rail network for easy evacuation of cargoes.
According to him, “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.”
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 organisation, 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
In his speech, the Managing Director of Ports and Cargo Terminal, Mr John Jenkins said the four new cranes acquired at the cost of 4.5 million euro each will arrive the country in the next few months.
He said the cranes were acquired to complement five existing ones, bringing to nine the number of such cranes acquired by the terminal.
“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, ”he said.