The House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation on Friday visited private terminals in Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos to evaluate their performances.
Mrs Khadija Ibrahim, the Chairman of the committee, said that the visit was necessary six years into the port concession programme.
Ibrahim said that the committee would look into the challenges confronting the operators and forward its observations to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).
The legislator expressed the desire of the committee to reduce the bureaucracy of getting containers out of the ports.
“One of the complaints the committee has received from the port concessionaires is the problem of port access roads,” he said.
She said that the problem of traffic congestion on access roads to the ports was due to the presence of many tank farms near the ports.
The Port Manager at Apapa Port, Mr Joshua Asanga, told the committee that the Federal Government could address the traffic congestion by investing in maintenance of the roads and moving cargoes by barges.
He said that the problem should be addressed urgently and “if not Lagos will be choked up”.
“If the refineries work, the tank farms will go out,” he said.
Mr Andrew Hawks, the Chief Operating Officer at APM Terminals, told the committee that the company had approved 130 million dollars (about N20.1 billion) to expand the terminal further.
Hawks said that the target was to enable the terminal accommodate 700,000 TEUs (20ft containers) this year, adding that there there was the need for truck holding bays to reduce traffic congestion on the access roads.
The committee members were at Apapa Bulk Terminal, Greenview Development Nigeria Ltd, APM Terminals Nigeria Ltd, in Apapa, and other terminals at the Tin-Can Island port.
The House Committee was in Calabar and Port Harcourt ports last week.
The ports were given to 26 terminal operators in 2006 by NPA and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
The concession was to increase efficiency in port operations, reduce cost of port services and attract private sector participation, among others