MANAGING Director, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd., Malam Mohammed Bulangu, has said that infrastructure in terms of good roads, rail link and inland waterways connectivity are key to new port development and its operations. Bulangu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recently in Lagos. According to him, Greenfield development, which in a lay man’s language means new port project, is a function of factors like accessibility like roads, rail and inland water connection. He also mentioned viability, funding (capital), market, safety, security, government policies in terms of ownership structure of the port and tax policies as well as location. “The traditional ports in most countries have given way to new ports with deep draft and good connectivity for ease of cargo handling. “One key issue that is bedevilllng green field is the issue of government policies and the safety and security of funds invested by the promoters. “Comfort of investors should be guaranteed and adequate measures put in place to ensure continuity, ‘’ NAN quotes Bulangu as saying as saying. He also mentioned safety and security of lives and investments. The port operators suggested an urgent need for government to deploy adequate security within the nations’ territorial waters to checkmate the activities of pirates and sea robbers. Bulangu also mentioned the need to maintain and provide infrastructure around the ports and revitalise inland waterways for the movement of persons and goods. He noted that there should be attractive incentives by government to attract investments in Green fields. “There should be streamlining of operational procedures in the ports for smooth service delivery. “The above brought to light the challenges of green field ports of Lekki and the proposed Port of Badagry. “Also the Olokola Port on the borders of Ogun and Ondo States. “Looking at these projects, one important missing link can be observed and that is accessibility. “On delivery of these ports, if some key issues are not addressed, serious environmental and economic issues will arise especially the Lekki Port,’’ Bulangu said.
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