Experts seek to improve Nigeria infrastructure opportuniti
Tag: Nigeria infrastructure opportuniti, Nigeria infrastructure
Summary: Nigeria can serve as a hub for sea-ports in Africa, experts have said. They warned that such opportunity may slip away if infrastructure decay and legal inadequacies are not addresed.
Nigeria can serve as a hub for sea-ports in Africa, experts have said. They warned that such opportunity may slip away if infrastructure decay and legal inadequacies are not addresed.
Participants, who spoke at the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX 2012), in Lagos last week, noted that just as the growth in the energy sector was being affected by the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the port system is similarly in chains owing to the neglect of the Ports and Habour Bill.
According to her, the issue of a hub status for the African states has become a "sink or swim" paradox for now, adding that "Nigeria has no choice" than to act fast in the face of challenges posed by South Africa, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
She noted that in view of the advantages enjoyed by the country such as the control of over 25 per cent of the African population, a 25 percent market share of the ECOWAS ports activities as well as being the second highest host of the container traffic in the sub-region, the country is no doubt a natural hub station.
"Deep offshore market is a time limited opportunity for Nigeria to overcome the natural resource course. Over 100 billion USD will be spent on deep offshore projects in West Africa.
"Nigeria risks losing out to its near and far neighbours, and become increasingly served by transshipmen just as well developed ports will receive the larger ships (while) others will be served in transshipment in feeder vessels," she said.
Jadesimi, however, pointed out that despite these arrays of endowments, the country is, nonetheless, faced with strong competitors, who may grab the opportunity to shine, should Nigeria slack in taking her rightful position in the sector.
To attain the status and keep it, she said Nigeria must take steps to surmount "well known national challenges" such as "absence of deep water container transshipment terminals, lack of adequate berthing capacity, as well as lack of an integrated land distribution system, particularly for transit traffic".
Other challenges, which must be surmounted, according to her, included the lack of essential supporting infrastructure, such as rail system, congested road network, bureaucratic bottlenecks and high maritime and freight charges.
Chairman of the Ports Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin, warned that for the hub station to be a reality, all hands must be on deck to improve services such as ships turn-around, ports and cargo security and a codified tariff structure.