Firm tasks government on reviving Lagos ports infrastructure
The Chief Executive Officer of Employment Clinic, an employment solutions company in the maritime sector, Ronke Kosoko, has charged the incoming administration to resuscitate Lagos ports infrastructure, which have suffered a decline in the last 10 years.
She said the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and re-elected Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, need to pay attention to the maritime sector to rejig and address issues hindering the country from making the best of the huge opportunities Apapa and Tin Can Island ports offer, especially employment generation and development of the sector.
Kosoko, who stated this while addressing the media in Lagos, recalled what the building represents in efforts to promote indigenous shipping in the country.
While congratulating the incoming governments at the federal and state level, Kosoko reminded them of the declining status of Apapa port, which she said, must be reversed quickly to lift the port and its environs to the former enviable position as an enabler of employment generation and national economic growth.
“There has been a dichotomy between the state and federal. Now, we want to ensure that the centre aligns at some level. Apapa, for instance, is affecting the whole nation. If Apapa port, Tin Can Island port and Lekki port work optimally, the state and the entire nation will be better,” she said.
She noted that over the last decade, the need to resuscitate port business and shipping has become glaring, particularly, with the loss of businesses and jobs in the industry.
He added that the maritime industry, with all the potential to replace oil and gas as a revenue earner, has suffered untold neglect and mismanagement, a development the incoming government should reverse.
To address the challenge of unemployment in the industry, she said the firm commenced an employment initiative in 2013 tagged: ‘Project One Million.’
According to her, the initiative was aimed at connecting the dots between the government and the industry to create more job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths.
Kosoko also introduced the Maritime Conversion Programme (MCP), which focuses on getting graduates into the maritime sector via industrial training and hands-on experience to improve their career prospects in the industry. She added that the programme is targeting 5,000 jobs in Lagos for the first phase of the scheme.
“We have been mandated to interface with the seven agencies under the Ministry of Transportation, and we have spoken to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and others.
The maritime consultant further disclosed that operators at the newly completed Lekki deep seaport have been poaching qualified maritime workers of terminals and shipping companies at Apapa and Tin Can Island ports due to their better work environment.
She, however, said it is an opportunity for unemployed youths and available skilled manpower in the industry to replace those leaving Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, while also meeting the labour needs at the Lekki deep seaport.