Sunday, March 6, 2016 2:19 pm
The Nigeria Customs Service has announced plans to designate the Ikorodu Cargo Terminal as a major export gateway. The decision to upgrade the terminal into a dedicated export gateway was reached following an earlier motion moved by Senator Oluremi Tinubu towards providing an inter-model transportation system, including inland waterways to tackle the traffic gridlock on the Lagos- Apapa Expressway.
Following the motion in October 2015, sponsored by Senator Tinubu on the gridlock, the Senate mandated its committee on marine transportation to wade into the matter and proffer solutions for consideration by the lawmakers.
Consequently, the committee recently presented its report with a recommendation that the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Department of Petroleum Resources should urgently relocate the oil tank farms at the Apapa Ports to other areas including Ikorodu and Port Harcourt to decongest the traffic on the Apapa/Tincan Island axis.
Currently, the Ikorodu Terminal serves as a storage facility for loaded import containers also known as overtime containers that have stayed beyond the 28 days allowed by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS at the ports. According to Adewale Adeniyi, National Public Relations Officer of Customs, the decision reached concerning the Ikorodu Terminal was also part of measures to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export earnings.
‘’To meet our one trillion naira revenue target this year, the service will support the excise companies and assist manufacturers to improve their export volumes to enable them bring in the needed foreign exchange into the country. Anyone familiar with the traffic situation in Lagos will appreciate what we are trying to do at Ikorodu,” Adeniyi said, while affirming that the NCS is looking at the possibility of moving the entire export operations from the mainstream seaports to a location in Ikorodu so that trucks carrying goods for export no longer struggle with those taking delivery or returning at the major Lagos ports.
In the short term, the senate committee on marine transportation has proposed that ports concessionaires and oil tank farm owners be requested to provide good parking space for trucks in accordance with lease agreements. The Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Ports Authority has also been asked to expedite action on the repairs of the Atlas Cove Jetty and the pipelines towards a more seamless transfer of products to Mosimi and Ilorin.