Stories by Seun Ibiyemi
Nigerian Association of Roads Transport Owners (NARTO) has called on the federal government to halt fresh concessioning of the Lilypond Container Terminal and Brawal Lighter Terminal and convert it to holding bays for truck drivers.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with newsmen last Friday, the Deputy President, Dry Cargo section, Alhaji Abdulahi Inuwa said the two terminals should be made available to decongest roads leading in and outside the Lagos seaports.
According to him, if the two terminals are available, shipping companies can then move cargoes by rail through lilypond to the Apapa port or by Barges from. the Brawal Lighter Terminal to Tin Can port.
He said, “Everyone knows that its lack of holding bay and about 85 per cent of trucks with empty containers are going to the seaports to discharge but the only way out is for the shipping companies to have full control of the movement of containers going to discharge and that is when they have functional holding bays of their own but even those that have a functional holding bay cannot operate because of the gridlock.
“The Lilypond port concession has expired, and the Lillypond terminal is empty and growing weeds so, then the Brawal terminal belongs to NPA and it’s empty so it should be converted.
“NPA should use their political will to turn the terminal to a holding bay forget about bidding for the two terminals now and dedicate the two terminals to shipping companies that have no functioning holding bay so that they should dedicate for receiving empty containers.”
Abdulahi further stated that with both terminals empty, the shipping companies will have control over empty containers destined for the seaports.
He also stated that the holding bay would hold thousands of containers and help decongest the road.
His words, “It is from the holding bay that the shipping companies will have control of empty containers to the port. They can do it via call up and NPA can approve the numbers of containers that will be going to the seaports.
“The two terminals can accommodate thousands of containers and can serve as multi purpose like Lilypond, any containers going to Apapa port will be discharged and rail and trucks can be used while Brawal too will use trucks or badges to move it to the port. That is the only solution as at now,” he advised.