The Group Executive Vice Chairman, Sifax Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has given reasons why the company established a new container terminal at Ijora Causeway, Lagos.
He stated that the terminal’s concept and design were in line with what he called the “existing Sifax Group business plan of continuous expansion”.
He also explained that it was in tandem with the group desire to proffer solutions, growing improvements in the maritime sector and the logistics value chain, meeting customers’ expectations as well as complying with government’s regulations.
A statement signed by Sifax Group Communication Officer, Mr. Philips Olawumi Ojo and made available to Maritime Bits quoted Afolabi saying this during the assessment visit of the Ministry of Transportation Ministerial Implementation Committee to the new terminal.
The committee is headed by the Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Auwalu Suleiman.
Besides the officials from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, employees of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and National Inland Waterways (NIWA) are also members of the committee.
His words: “Sifax Container Terminal located at Ijora, Lagos was established to address the challenge of traffic congestion around the Lagos ports. Its vantage position which is on the fringes of the port environment will allow it to receive consignments from both Apapa and Tin Can Island ports through barges without the complications of traffic congestion that has adversely affected businesses and port activities”.
Afolabi who was represented during the visit by the Executive Director, Sifax Off Dock, Captain Ibraheem Olugbade also appealed for government’s support in achieving the vision of the terminal, especially the dredging of the waterways so that barges could access the terminal.
Suleiman in his response expressed the readiness of the Federal Government to support the vision of Sifax Group in establishing the new container terminal.
His words: “We are here at the instance of the Minister of Transportation to inspect the terminal and make sure that it conforms to all the relevant requirements stipulated by law in setting up an inland container terminal. So far, we are impressed with the standards you have set in terms of space, equipment, facilities, your vision and future plan.
“It is also our intention to recommend to the government that this terminal should be adopted as a model for all future off docks that would be sited in Nigeria. We have compiled all your needs and complaints and they will be forwarded to all the relevant authorities for proper and immediate action”.
He also expressed the committee’s satisfaction with the facilities provided and lauded the company for what he called “the huge vision” it has set for the inland container depot.