The Nigerian House of Representatives is adopting legislative measures to make all the country’s ports work effectively.
This is to improve the country’s economy, revenue generation and provide job opportunities for the country.
Speaker House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by Deputy House Leader, Peter Akpatason, stated this at a public hearing on why five inland ports in the eastern corridor are not working.
He said full utilization of the ports will reduce the congestion at Tin Can and Apapa Ports in Lagos State as well as win the confidence of foreign investors.
“This Adhoc Committee has been constituted with a specific mandate to investigate the various reasons why these ports are not being use to maximum effects especially at this time when Apapa and Tin Can Ports are so overwhelming.
As lawmakers in line with the legislative agenda of the Nigerian 9th Assembly, we must look for solutions to the identified problems affecting the effective performance of those ports,” Mr. Akpatason added.
Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Yusuf Buba Yakubu in his remark, stressed the critical role of stakeholders in maritime industry in proffering solutions to what he said has become a dangerous reality of everyday life in Lagos and an embarrassment for international visitors.
“Yes! Or how else does one describe a situation that has defied the efforts of a State like Lagos and has the capacity to lock down the commercial city completely, while encouraging the activities of criminal elements and touts and compelling.
Ultimately, the attention of the nation’s President, who had responded by setting up a Presidential Task Team?” Mr. Yakubu stressed.
Nigerian Ministry of Transports, through its Permanent Secretary, Sani Zakari, revealed that efforts are being made to ensure that all policies regarding ports operation are implemented and adhere to, for efficiency.
Participants who attributed the poor performance of ports in the Eastern corridors to piracy, militancy, multiple taxation and poor road infrastructure, however suggested a coordinating agency, improve security and aggressive overhaul of infrastructure for Nigeria to reap the benefit.
This will eventually reduce the pressure mounted on the Tin Can and Apapa Ports, improve commercial activities, reduce the transportation cost of goods as well as provide job opportunity to the host communities.
The findings and recommendations of the Committee according to the participants, will assist the House when it resumes in September, to come up with strong resolution that would turn the maritime sector for the better.