Terminal operators deny links with slow train services at seaports
The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) has faulted claims by a former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, Kayode Opeifa, that the poor utilisation of the rail line at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa is caused by terminal operators.
STOAN’s spokesman, Dr. Bolaji Akinola, in a statement said it is a mischief for Opeifa to make such ‘libelous and highly misleading allegation’ against terminal operators when the operators are not in charge of the train services.
“For the avoidance of doubt, terminal operators are not responsible for operating the train service in and out of the port. Terminal operators are also sufficiently equipped to discharge and load all the ships, barges, trains and trucks that come to the port. We, therefore, urge the port community to disregard the lies and mischievous claims credited to Opeifa,” he said.
According to the STOAN spokesman, Opeifa has lost touch with reality in the port system since the Federal Government in 2020 disbanded the committee on traffic management, which he worked with after several complaints of inefficiency and alleged extortion by truck drivers.
“The truth is that Opeifa knows nothing about the port operation or what is happening in the port. He is not a port or shipping expert. The only brief contact he had with the port was when he worked with a committee set up by the Federal Government to clear the gridlock on the port access road. That committee was dissolved more than a year ago by the government after several complaints of gross inefficiency and allegations of massive corruption leveled against it by truck drivers.
“How can Opeifa, who is not a port operator or port user, and who has not been to the port in more than a year even as a passer-by, now lay claim to knowing what is happening in the port?” he queried.