Bala Usman: We might need to declare emergency on port access roads

Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), says the agency might declare a state of emergency on roads leading to and from the port.

In an interview with CNBC Africa, the director said the ports authority might take on the construction of these roads if the ministry of works does not consider them priority.

“We even believe that we might need to declare an emergency on port access roads because what is going on now in the Apapa Tincan Island is an emergency,” she said.

“The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has provided funds to reconstruct roads on the Apapa port axis and it is really not our responsibility. We provided N1.8 billion for the reconstruction of Wharf road last year.

“Port access roads are not our responsibility but because of how important it is to us, we are providing funding for something that is not our responsibility. We have sustained our engagement with the ministry of works to ensure that the roads are rehabilitated.

“If the ministry of works does not consider these roads a priority, the Nigerian Ports through the ministry of transportation can take on these roads and reconstruct them.”

Bala Usman said getting companies to comply with rules and regulations has been a challenge for her thus far.

“There’s an attitude of impunity. You have third party agents refusing to comply to regulatory positions.

“This is one of the things that I have seen and found challenging where people or private entities just do not recognise the rule of law and that is unacceptable.

“While we seek to encourage private sector investment, we have to make private sector understand that there are rules and regulations governing every activity and they must comply.”

In 2017, the ministry of works concessioned the Apapa ports roads to Dangote Group and Honeywell Flour Mills for construction.