The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders has commended the Federal Government for earmarking N7.8 billion for the rehabilitation of Apapa/Oshodi Expressway in the 2017 Appropriation bill.
The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Stanley Ezenga, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.
He said the budgetary vote showed that government realised how important the road was and was committed to fixing it to lift the nation’s economy.
Ezenga said: “We are glad at the news of the N7.8 billion vote for the rehabilitation of the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway in the 2017 Appropriation Bill and we commend the government for taking that bold step.
“The road has been neglected for so many years, leading to congestion, chaos and accidents on that important port access road.
“We believe the vote and the eventual rehabilitation would address these nagging problems and promote economic activities around the Tin-Can and Apapa ports.”
Ezenga, however said there was still the need for government to make access to the ports intermodal, to reduce pressure on the road and promote seamless business transactions around the ports.
He, therefore, urged the government to revive the railway system linking the ports for more efficient movements of cargoes and people.
Speaking on his expectations in the maritime sector in 2017, Ezenga said the sector would overcome its present challenges with better government policies in the New Year.
He said what the government needed to do in the New Year was to formulate policies that would promote maritime trade and not those policies that would strangulate it.
He said: “We had policy issues in 2016 and that is why things like forex restriction and others really affected the pace of things in the sector.
“If only we can make things better in the New Year, the sector can witness a turnaround and serve as the number one revenue earner for the country, even above oil, as the case in Singapore and other Asian Tigers.”