… Wants Holding Bay Buit ON Empty Land Along Lagos Ibadan Expressway
By Ambrose Okehi
An expert in maritime Shipping and freight forwarding logistics and bonded terminal operations, Mr. Alabi Olalekan has proffered solution on the perennial traffic congestion hindering business activities along Apapa, Oshodi expressway, the only major way leading to the nation’s seaports which also serves as the gateway to the nation’s economy.
He said that though every attempt of the federal government in bringing a lasting solution to the traffic problem in Apapa, has not yielded the expected result including the latest one of directing the shipping companies to ask truckers to move all their empty containers to empty spaces at the private bonded terminals within Lagos.
The maritime guru, who is also the Terminal Manager of AML Bonded Terminal Advanced Motor and Logistics Limited however advised the authorities to consider building a permernent holding bay to accommodate all the empty containers that litter every nook and crannies of Lagos State, suggesting that if such holding bay is built by the federal government, it will serve as holding bay for all the shipping companies.
According to Olalekan, ”if I have my way happen to suggest to the government, or the transport minister, I will just advise him to look at the vast and empty land along Lagos Ibadan expressway. See if you are moving along that route, you will see vast land there. You will see bushes left and right. Let them go inside, let them take like I000 acres of the land and build a terminal like a holding bay something like that.”
Olalekan, while speaking to MARITIMENEWSROOM, an online maritime media in an interview on Thursday further stated that if such terminal (holding bay) can be built as suggested that it could be another source of income for the federal government.
”It will even be another way for government to make more, create employment bring development in the sector. Let them develop it in terminal form. All the shipping companies will have their stands there. All of them will have their stands there.
”For the shipping companies you are carrying their empty container, they will direct you to go and drop their container there.”
Giving a better understanding of how the proposed government’s terminal (holding bay) would work, Mr. Olalekan said: ”So let the federal government run a rail line from the port to the terminal and let them maintain it. So on daily basis they (government) will be making their money from there. Yes they should have rail system there and run it to the ports. Once you want to offload, you go there. Wherever the shipping companies need their empty containers, they should go there. They can even load more than 500 empties at a go to the port instead of allowing trucks to litter our major roads and cause congestion”.
His work : ”Anybody that has an empty container to drop, let him go there and later the train will carry the empties to the ports in large quanttiies. And you will see that this will reduce the perennial traffic on our roads”.
On the highly politicised and federal government’s inability to develop other ports in the eastern part of the country, the AML Bonded terminal boss noted: ”That idea of developing the Eastern ports is also a good suggestion. But 80 per cent of the imported goods onto the country comes through the Lagos ports, if not more than that. So,.if other ports can be developed the way the Lagos ports were developed, then importers will then have the choice of using either the Eastern ports or Southern ports of final destination and can route their consignments through such ports. By that importers will note compelled to bring their goods here in Lagos before transporting them back to East. Ships should go to ports like Onne port and Calabar.