By Joe Apu
A Nigerian firm, the Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) has proffered a solution to the ever-constant ports congestion and related traffic gridlock in Lagos.
According to the firm, its proposed Creek Industrial Estate project which is awaiting the approval of the Lagos State government will bring an end to the epileptic congestion of the ports that have continually given the Nigeria Ports Authority, truck drivers as well as residents of the Lagos metropolis constant nightmares.
Chairman of the MMCC, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja (Rtd) stated this during a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Waterfronts Infrastructure Development at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa in the company of traditional rulers in the Snake Island community.
The traditional rulers led by Alhaji Kamoru Bolarinwa was at Alausa to seek answers to the delay in the take-off of the Creek Industrial Estate project after several years of its proposed commencement.
Admiral Okoja noted that the project on completion would provide a tunnel road that links the eastern and western axis of Lagos from Badagry through the Snake Island, Ogogoro Island to join the Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island.
“Technically, it will link the three seaports – Tin Can Island, Apapa and Ibeju Lekki in Lagos. The Creek Industrial Estate will also provide a platform along with its annex located in Ikorodu with the delivery of cargoes by barges and through this provide a marine option for decongesting the ports.
“By this option, trailers will not have to come into Lagos to pick up cargoes for delivery to their hinterlands destinations.”
The former Nigerian Defence Adviser further noted that aside from eradicating ports conjunction and making traffic gridlock caused by trailer operators a thing of the past, the Creek Industrial Estate will provide 1,000 hectares of land for industries, 600 hectares of land for residential/ commercial layout and 120 hectares of land for resettlement as well as create 15,000 job opportunities with an Independent Power Plant of 1,200 mega watts of power all to be funded by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sourced from Switzerland/China and United Bank for Africa (Nigeria to the tune of $2.7bn.
Alhaji Kamoru Bolarinwa stated that the CIE is a project that is dear to them given the immense benefits it holds for their communities and Lagos State in general.
“For over 400 years running, we have depended on water transport to and from our communities. The Mercury Maritime Concession Company told us about the CIE project and aside from the industries and job opportunities that we look forward to; the most important thing we seek is the construction of the bridge linking the Island to the mainland. If that is all we get, we will be most grateful,” he stated.
The Snake Island communities include Imoore, Ibasa, Ilashe and Igbologun.