How To End Apapa Gridlock, By Haastrup | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How To End Apapa Gridlock, By Haastrup

Posted: May 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, has said that the gridlock in Apapa, Lagos, is a result of systemic failure in the oil and gas industry logistics chain.

She said at the weekend that suspending the loading of petroleum products from Apapa was the way out of the logjam created mainly by trucks and tankers queuing on the highway while they await their turn to load petrol and other products from the tank farms.

Haastrup, executive vice chairman of ENL Consortium, operators of the Lagos Port Complex, Terminals C and D, Apapa, said: “There is an over-concentration of oil tank farms in Apapa, an area predominantly designed for port operations. There is now a situation where we have proliferation of oil tank farms without regard for the safety, logistics implications.

“Port operations have been brought to a virtual standstill as a result of this chaos created by tank farms and oil tankers and it does not look like anyone is doing anything drastic about it.

“We have a situation where over 10,000 tankers descend on Apapa daily and when you add this to the number of conventional trucks on routine maritime operations, it is not surprising that we have the kind of gridlock we are currently witnessing.”

To solve the problem, she advised that distribution of “petroleum products meant for the northern part of the country should be moved to Lokoja and Baro ports by barges while the trucks collect them from there, rather than coming to Apapa.”

“Petroleum products meant for the South-East and South-South should be moved by barges to Onitsha Port, Warri Port, Port Harcourt Port and Calabar Port. The trucks then go to those places to pick up and distribute.

“This is the way to go and this will immediately reduce the number of tankers coming to Apapa to a manageable number,” Haastrup said.

She said port operators and their staff have been worse hit by the gridlock as the various operators have suffered “substantial losses” since the gridlock set in.