Capt. Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock, has urged stakeholders in the maritime sector to adopt cargo movement through barge to off dock to decongest Lagos ports.
Olugbade gave the advice in a statement signed by Mr Muyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager, SIFAX Group, in Lagos on Friday.
According to Olugbade, the challenges of port and traffic congestion caused by bad access roads will drastically reduce if credible alternatives such barge is encouraged by shipping lines and agents.
“Shipping lines and agents should be encouraged to key into the use of barges for transfer in view of the poor state of port access roads.
“Aggressive transfer of cargoes through barges to the various off docks in Lagos will help decongest the ports in a great way and help the ports reach maximum potential,” he said.
Olugbade also urged the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and other relevant agencies to execute the policy of establishing inland container depots in various parts of the country with more vigour.
He said that it would provide important leeway for decongestion of Nigerian ports.
“The idea of floating inland container depots or off docks in various parts of the country is a very good initiative by the government, although it is yet to yield its desired result.
“There is a need to pursue its implementation with more commitment by all stakeholders.
“Off docks are still very much relevant in Nigeria’s maritime business model. They will always help to decongest the ports and bring about efficiency in port operations,” he said.
Olugbade further said that SIFAX Group’s belief in off dock as a good port decongestion strategy was responsible for the company’s massive investment in off dock facilities in various locations across Lagos.
He said that it would enable agents to experience easier clearing process and faster consignment movement.
Olugbade urged relevant government agencies to strictly enforce policies guiding off dock location in Lagos State in order to avoid environmental hazards. (NAN)