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Senate to summon NPA over Apapa Gridlock

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The Senate Committee on Works says plans are underway to invite the Nigeria Ports Authority in the coming week over the lingering Apapa gridlock. The Punch newspaper reports

Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, made this known in a meeting with management of APM Terminals in Abuja on Thursday.

He further said, NIMASA, farm tank owners, manufacturers and other relevant stakeholders have been invited to attend the meeting aimed at finding lasting solution to the problem.

Gaya who said the challenge had become an embarrassment to the country, noted that only concerted efforts would bring about lasting solution.

“We are expanding the committee to include, Senate Committee on Marine Transport and by next week, we will invite NPA and NIMASA to take a holistic look at the matter.

“We will also invite all owners of terminals, manufacturers, tank farm owners and other stakeholders to the meeting.

“We cannot wait for one person to find solution to the problem. We have to work together as a team,” he said.

He expressed concern that unlike in the past, where terminal operators cleared up to 750 containers a day, “today, with less business, some of the few containers brought to the terminal for clearing spend close to three weeks.”

He further decried that in some situations, before containers arrived the terminals. the ships had departed, adding that many exporters lost millions of Naira in the process.

The lawmaker said corruption was one of the major factors responsible for the problem.

He said, “we have to change the system. Nigeria has to be out of this kind of problem. We need to fight corruption and ensure that the common man gets what he needs to get.”

“The most worrisome is that when containers are delayed at the port, the exporters pay more.

“The Vice President has visited that place twice and when we were in Lagos for oversight, we discussed it with the Vice President and he was very worried.

” It is unfortunate that some Nigerians who do not want the progress of this country are benefitting so much from this.

“If you take a ratio of N100,000 being paid by about 100,000 trucks that are parked on the road per say, it means N100 million Naira is being realised daily.

“That is corruption. We just have to fight it and I agree with what President Muhammadu Buhari said that we have to fight corruption else it will kill the country,” he said.

Gaya, expressed optimism that the trailer park currently under construction in Lagos would soon be completed.

He added that it would commence operation, everything being equal in June, stressing that it would help ease congestion while bringing succour to motorists.

On the meeting with APM, Gaya said it was a followup on recent oversight embarked upon by the committee to Lagos on the gridlock.

He said APM terminals operators have made their presentation and submitted relevant documents as requested by the committee for scrutiny.

He noted that the company would be expected in next week’s meeting, to help proffer solution to the problem.

Earlier, the Managing Director of APM Terminal, Mr Martins Jacob, said the problem was multifaceted, adding that unless it was tackled holistically, no significant impact would be made.

He said one of the major challenges was lack of access roads.

Jacob said the bad road condition and absence of an efficient traffic management system were part of the problem.

He also said that issues such as identifying and allowing only truckers with valid transactions into the port area as well as monitoring and removing idling or broken down trucks from the ports access roads were a challenge.

“Poor state of trucks coming to the port which makes it difficult to service them, cause a number of breakdowns affecting the terminal operations.

“Fatigue on the part of the drivers after the long wait on the port access road also has potentials to cause accident leading to more gridlock,” he said.

The managing director, stressed that “absence of pre-advised information of container visit through the state to the quay” was also a major challenge that needed to be tackled.

On allegations that the company contributed to the problem by resorting to manual system in clearing containers, the managing director said it was not true.

He said the company’s clearance system was fully automated, adding that it only resorted to manual for only about two hours, some weeks ago when they had minor challenges.

He added that, “sometimes we stop transaction when the outbound traffic is not moving.”

APM Terminals is a company that designs, builds and operates port and terminal facilities.

It also provides cargo Inland Services for cargo transportation between port facilities and inland locations, as well as other associated cargo handling functions.

THE PUNCH

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BUSINESS

Alaba Amalgamated Council commiserates with Ojo police station, donates items for rebuilding

…thanks Gov. Sanwo-Olu for re-opening Lagos markets

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By Adeola Oluwaseun Oluwole

A week after a widespread arson which left many public utilities burnt in Lagos including police stations, the Alaba Amalgamated Council of Sectional heads have commiserated with Ojo police station and donated items to fast-track the rebuilding of the station.

The Council which visited the dilapidated police property on Tuesday 27th of October, 2020 to see the level of damage and to show their support to the command also facilitated the re-roofing of the station

The council of sectional heads led by the president Ichie Fabian E. Ezorjika donated office tables, chairs, electronics and a power generating set to the station.

Also, the roofing of the police station was changed and sponsored by Evang. Paulilus Ugochukwu ( a.k.a Sound Prince).

Ojo local government Chairman Hon. Rosulu Idowu donated and an Ilux van to the station as their patrol van was also burnt during the incidence.

In another development, the Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association (Council of Sections) has expressed appreciation to the Lagos state government, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the promptness in re-opening markets in the state after last week’s riots.

Th association commended governor Sanwoolu for yielding to the cries of its members on the inconveniences the one-day on, and one-day off pattern characterized by the pandemic caused them economically.

They promised to adhere to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)’s rules guiding against Covid-19 and ensure full compliance of traders in tax payment.

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BUSINESS

ALERT: Panic buying in Lagos as fear of petrol pump price hike grips residents

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Lagosians this morning embarked on panic fuel buying as petrol stations across the metropolis become crowded with vehicles and people who want to buy the product in jerrycans.

This may not be unconnected with the Tuesday’s announcement by the the downstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, which fixed the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, at N138.62 per litre

When asked why the panic buying, some motorists who spoke with GidiNews blamed on it on the inconsistency of the government over the fixing of petroleum pump price in recent time.

“We are not sure what could come up next and so, one has to prepare well for every eventuality that may occur. I am a businessman and I cannot afford to look on, while my investments are always affected by unpredictable government policies. I need to fill my tank, at least for the rest of the week and that is why I am here” A motorist told our correspondent in Ogba Ikeja.

A filling station along College Road, Ogba

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BUSINESS

“We really don’t know how much petrol is consumed in Nigeria, daily” -NNPC

Agency says around 54 million litres of petroleum product are evacuated from the depot daily

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The agency responsible for petroleum matters in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it does not have data about the volume of petroleum consumed in Nigeria,daily.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari dropped the shocker at an interactive hearing on “Exiting Petroleum Subsidy: Ensuring Self – Sufficiency in Domestic Refining of Petroleum Products”.

Mr. Kyari however said the agency has records of quantity being lifted from depots across the nation, adding that the price of fuel at the borders is higher than the official rate..

He said, “We don’t know how much petroleum we consume daily in this country but we know how much of the product that is taken out of our depot.

“This year, around 54 million litres of petroleum product are evacuated from the depot daily but the consumption is somewhere below that.

“NNPC has no knowledge of the amount of the product that are transported through Nigeria’s borders to neighbouring countries. It is impossible to know, nobody declares it, and therefore as it crosses, it goes.” He said

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