Efforts of Hon Babajimi Benson, member, representing Ikorodu federal constituency at the House of Reps, to revive port activities at the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal is beginning to yield positive results as the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority has declared that the Ikorodu ports will now be used as the exporting gateway of the country.
Hon. Benson made a case for the under-utilization of the Ikorodu port at the House plenary recently. Moving a motion on the under-utilization of the Ikorodu lighter terminal by the Nigerian Custom Service, Hon Jimi Benson stated that, ‘The Ikorodu lighter terminal, with two large warehouses has been adjudged to be one of the largest in this country. It is among the three lighter terminals constructed by the Nigerian ports Authority to decongest federal ports in Nigeria, particularly the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos State.
Hon Benson added that, ‘The multi-billion naira investment is almost moribund as it is operating below capacity, while contributing nothing significant to the nation’s economy. Little or nothing has been done by the Nigerian Custom Service to designate the Ikorodu Cargo Terminal as the major export gateway, as a means of reducing traffic to the Apapa and Tin Can ports’.
In an apparent swift reaction to Hon Benson’s motion, Hajia Hadiza Muhammed, Managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority recently led delegation of the NPA to the Ikorodu terminal to assess facilities at the port, with a view to designating the terminal as export gateway, as contained in Hon Jimi Benson’s motion.
Hajia Hadiza in her speech disclosed that, ‘We have mahogany being exported using intermodal transportation loads from Ikorodu lighter terminal to APMT terminal. We are seeing this as a first of many. We believe that our exportation of agric and solid minerals require fast track, require priority consideration, and such intermodal transportation system initiative is one of the ways we support the exportation of agric produce’ she said.
The news that the once moribund Nigerian Ports Authority, Ikorodu Lighter Terminal will soon become a beehive of productive activities has generated a lot of positive reactions from many and stakeholders on the latest federal government efforts to revive the port. This is because, the move will further open up Ikorodu for commercial activities, while impacting positively on its local economy.
It is believed that, once water badges and inter-modal transportation system is fully adopted, it will help to decongest the nation’s ports while also reducing pressures from the roads.
To flag off the initiative, there is currently an on-going effort to evacuate about 30 containers of solid minerals products from the Ikorodu terminal for export.