By Eromosele Abiodun
The establishment of the Ijegun Port City has brought rapid development and increased the overall storage capacity for petroleum products, thus reducing the incidents of shortages, the founder, Westron Properties Nigeria Limited, George Igboegwu has said.
The Ijegun port city was developed by Westron Properties, an engineering and maritime investment company, with the aim of bridging the gap in the demand for port facilities and reduce the congestion in Apapa ports.
As part of efforts to provide facilities for the community and the port city, the company has constructed a 1-kilometer road, bridge and water channel, to be inaugurated by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa this week.
In a chat with newsmen in Lagos, Igboegwu said the emerging port city of Ijegun is a private initiative born out of necessity.
“Our company was involved in industrial fishing and became caught up with delays at Apapa port together with the traffic gridlock along the axis. Our fishing trawlers could not find not find adequate b birthing facilities in Lagos-the main market for their products.
“While searching for solution to the problem, we stumbled on the calm waters and natural harbor of Ijegun and we decided to explore the maritime potential with the active cooperation of government,” he said.
He said with greater corporation from the government, the port city, which currently absorbs 25 per cent of the 60 per cent of the nation’s petroleum products would now be able to absorb 50 per cent.
On why the company wants to expand the facility, he said, “The demand for port facilities in the ever – growing city of Lagos has seen an exponential growth in the last few years. The resultant effect is that even the addition of Tin Can Island port could still not meet this demand.
“This has led to the chaos Apapa has turned into, with the nation losing billions of naira on daily basis. Effort by the government to ease the pain of Apapa has not yielded the desired result.”
The Westron Properties chairman noted that the issue of requisite infrastructure for the new city had been a recurring problem over a long period.
Igboegun, said various parties and companies with interest in the new city, mostly under the umbrella of the Ijegun Tank Farm Association, had over time been making their individual contributions towards the development of infrastructure in Ijegun.
Speaking on why the company invested in the construction of the one-kilometer road and the bridge, he said, “The new bridge and road represent some of our contributions towards bridging this infrastructural gap in the new city. It is our hope that with the combined effort of both the private and public sectors, the city will see further growth, making significant contributions towards relieving the Apapa problem.
“It is projected that our present additional development in the area will see a further growth of 30 per cent in this new city. ”