Maritime workers suspend strike, resume port operations

Prolonged Marine Bridge closure, slowing goods evacuation- Apapa Port Operators

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Operators at the Lagos Ports have lamented that the prolonged closure of a section of the outbound lane of Marine Bridge in Apapa, Lagos is slowing down the evacuation of goods cleared from the Lagos Port Complex in Apapa.

Speaking with newsmen at the weekend, Chairman of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup appealed to the Federal Ministry of Works to speed up ongoing repairs on the bridge to ensure its prompt reopening.

The STOAN Chairman expressed concerns about the frequent partial closure of the busy bridge.
Princess Haastrup said the bridge has experienced prolonged partial and intermittent closures over the past two years without noticeable appreciable progress of the repair work being done.

She said comprehensive repair work of the Third Mainland Bridge, which is much longer than the Marine Bridge, was carried out within five months while that of the Marine Bridge has been ongoing for more than two years.

The STOAN Chairman, while commending the government’s effort to keep the bridge in good shape, said its prolonged closure, in addition to slowing down the evacuation of cargo from the port, is also making movement difficult for port workers and Apapa residents.

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“The Marine Bridge is very strategic to operations at the nation’s largest seaport. Its partial closure has affected the movement of trucks in and out of the port. We all know that trucks remain the primary means of cargo evacuation from the seaports. When there is no free flow of traffic, cargoes are held up in the port and when this happens, it impacts negatively on economic activities in the country.

“Cargo backlogs at the port inevitably lead to port congestion and vessel queue. Port congestion will also mean that importers and agents will have to pay more to clear their cargoes from the port, the cost of which will eventually be borne by the masses.

“We therefore appeal to the government to hasten work on the repair of the closed section of the bridge to avoid port congestion and reduce the sufferings of commuters,” the STOAN Chairman said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE


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