…Pledges World Class Services
SIFAX Group has ptomised that its new container terminal, Ijora Causeway Terminal, which is situated along the Ebute Metta Creek, Ijora, Lagos, would leverage on technology and innovations to deliver an unparalleled customer experience in container services.
The Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi made this promise at the opening of the container terminal in Lagos Wednesday, saying that the terminal would respond to the difficulties being experienced by stakeholders in accessing the Lagos ports.
Dr. Afolabi, who was represented by Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, said the company decided to invest in the facility to make the process of cargo clearing a wonderful experience as opposed to what is obtainable currently.
“The SIFAX Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos is our modest response to a major issue in the maritime industry – access to Lagos ports. The logistics nightmare in Apapa occasioned by the traffic congestion experienced by port users compelled the group to look for a solution that addresses the seemingly intractable problems. With this terminal, agents, truckers and consignees don’t have to go to the ports before getting their consignments cleared,” said Afolabi.
On the unique advantages of the terminal, Afolabi said consignment would be transferred primarily through barges from Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, adding that the good road network in the area also offers clients faster and efficient cargo clearing.
“Another key advantage of this terminal is that it is IT-driven. The Group has decided to invest in technology to sustain the business to our clients’ satisfaction,” Said he.
Earlier in his business presentation, Mr. Paul Linden, Managing Director of the terminal, said the terminal is equipped with modern infrastructure, an experienced workforce and ICT to boost cargo handling and provide a world-class experience for its customers. He said there are office facilities for the Nigeria Customs Service and other government agencies.
Linden noted that in the first phase of the opening, cargoes would be transferred through the road, and in the second phase, barges would be used as this will bring about cost reduction and time-saving.
He maintained that the Ijora Causeway Terminal is a perfect place for exports as it would guarantee exporters quick access to the main ports through barges for them to meet the demand of the international market standards. ‘’We expect a lot of exports and these will be transferred to the ports through barges for them to meet the international market standards. We are ready to do business with all shipping lines.’’
In her own remarks, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said the new terminal was a watershed in encouraging investment in the industry and a clear manifestation of SIFAX Group’s belief in the government investment plan for the nation’s seaport.
Commending SIFAX Group, the NPA Managing Director, who was represented by Hon. Onari Brown, Executive Director, Marine and Operations, said the Ijora Causeway Terminal would further boost quick turnaround of vessels, cargo delivery, reduction of traffic, human capacity development, create employment and increase revenue for the government.
Speaking at the occasion, the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Mohammed Abba Kura rejoiced with SIFAX Group on the new terminal and said the terminal is perfect and promised that the Nigeria Customs Service would give the necessary support for the terminal to grow.
An elated Princess Vicky Haastrup, Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium and Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) lauded SIFAX Group for the new terminal, saying ‘’this is Nigerian; Nigeria has stepped up in maritime globally. Before it was foreign companies that were leading but the trend has changed as Nigerians are now leading in investment development of the industry. I am proud of Nigerians. We are just starting. Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is taking the lead. This is fantastic. SIFAX Group would not have done this without the support of NPA. We enjoy a lot of support from NPA.’’
Blessing the new facility, the Ojora of Ijora Oba Fatai Oyeyinka, under whose domain the Ijora Causeway Terminal is situated, expressed joy and commended SIFAX Group for establishing the business concern. The monarch assured SIFAX Group maximum support of his people in making the business grow.
Deacon Wale Afolabi, Managing Director of Instarmac Nigeria Limited, a leading freight forwarding organization, gave a vote of thanks and prayed to God to continue to give Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group good health to continue with this positive trend while assuring that the new terminal would boost freight forwarding in Nigeria.