Filthy port: Ex-minister, others warn against epidemics
By Godfrey Bivbere
LAGOS—Former Minister of Interior and Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Emmanuel Iheanacho, and other operators in the maritime industry have raised the alarm over sanitary condition of Lagos port environment.
Iheanacho, who raised the alarm at a meeting with maritime journalists in Lagos, warned of the health and investment consequences of leaving the port environment filthy and untidy.
He said the port access road, which had been a thoroughfare in the past, had now been choked-up with broken-down trucks and refuse dumps on both sides of the roads.
According to him, “no one is talking about rubbish heaps contesting for space with trucks on the highways leading to the ports.”
The former minister stressed the need for government to take a critical look at this challenge of indiscriminate dumping of refuse along the port access roads.
“It is not really very nice if there were foreign investors who came here and saw this, they would not think highly of Nigeria and in terms of the way we have not been able to organize the transit of goods to and from our port roads would also hinder our quest for more transit shipment for our neighbouring countries,” he stated.
Similarly, the Deputy National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Uchu Block, said that if the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, does not take urgent steps to address the sanitary condition of the port environment, an epidemic might soon break out.
Block noted that the offensive smell along the port road, especially at the Tin-can Island end of the port where vehicles struggles with refuses.
In his words, “NPA is not taking into consideration the huge refuse dump along the Tin-can Island port road and the terrible smell that come from there. I am worried that if something urgently is not done soon there might be an epidemic in the area.”
Also speaking on the issue, Managing Director of Tentpeg Communications Network Limited, Goddy Oghenejakpor, said that situation is made worse with the drivers of articulated vehicles sleeping on the roads, using the nearby gutters and bushes as conveniences’.
These drivers eat, take their bath, defecate and do every other thing on the road for days until they get access to the port and they would go through the same process on their way back from the port, he stated.
Oghenejakpor further disclosed that these drivers for one trip spend between one to three weeks to access and get out of the port. He noted that the situation is becoming worrisome.
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