New terminal buoys Nigeria’s export drive
A major terminal operator, Sifax Group, has launched a new terminal in the Ijora area of Lagos, to increase the handling capacity and boost exports through the Lagos ports.
The facility, fully equipped with digital technology and located on 11 acres of land is positioned to ease delivery of cargoes to importers.
The Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Taiwo Afolabi, said the company decided to invest in the facility to make the process of cargo clearing a wonderful experience as opposed to what is obtainable currently in Apapa.
Afolabi, who was represented by the Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, Adekunle Abdulrazak Oyinloye, said the new terminal would leverage technology and innovations to deliver an unparalleled customer experience as well as cutting-edge inland container services.
He said: “The SIFAX Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos is our modest response to a major issue in the maritime industry – access to Lagos ports. The logistics nightmare in Apapa occasioned by the traffic congestion experienced by port users compelled the group to look for a solution that addresses this seemingly intractable problem. With this terminal, agents, truckers and consignees don’t have to go to the ports before getting their consignments cleared.”
On the unique advantages of the terminal, Afolabi said consignments would be transferred primarily through barges from the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, adding that the good road network in the area also offers clients faster and efficient cargo clearing.
“Another key advantage of this terminal is that it is IT-driven. The Group has decided to invest in technology to sustain the business to our clients’ satisfaction,” he said, and assured that the facility would give priority to exports.
Managing Director, Sifax, Paul Linden, expressed the readiness of the terminal to exceed expectations through the acquisition of modern cargo equipment, and deployment of a professional workforce backed by the over three-decade experience of SIFAX Group in the maritime industry.
Liden also said the new terminal would boost export, and ensure that Nigeria’s products are enjoyed across the world.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, said the development was a clear indication that the company identifies with the Federal Government’s agenda in the industry.
Bala Usman, represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Onari Brown, said the new terminal would increase the overall handling capacity of Apapa Port, generate employment, and increase government’s revenue.
Chairman of Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastupp, said the development emphasizes that Nigerians are now taking the centre stage in the maritime sector.
She said: “This shows that Nigerians are stepping up in the maritime industry. Many years ago, the industry was dominated by foreigners, but today Nigerians are taking their rightful place in the schedule of things in the maritime industry,” and applauded NPA for its support for indigenous terminal operators.
Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Abba Kura, promised Customs’ support, adding that the strategic location of the terminal gives easy access to the mother port in Apapa through barges.
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