SIFAX Shipping ICT Ltd., a subsidiary of SIFAX Group and operator of the Ijora Inland Container Terminal, Lagos, has embarked on a massive expansion of the terminal capacity to boost service delivery.
Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, made this known in a statement signed by Mr Muyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager, Sifax Group, in Lagos on Tuesday.
Afolabi noted that the expansion was due to the growing customer base as well as increasing demand, after operating for a little over 15 months.
Recall that the terminal, commissioned in October 2020, was established to alleviate the difficulties experienced by port users, including truckers, shipping lines, agents and consignees, in accessing Apapa ports.
This was due to congestion within that area which defied all solutions.
The terminal operates by moving consignments to its facility through barges for onward delivery to customers, thereby avoiding traffic congestion.
According to Afolabi, it sounds so unbelievable that the off dock terminal is just one year old, going by the impact made in such a short period of time.
“Our stakeholders have been treated to a whole new experience in cargo clearance. Consignments are moved to the terminal through barges without the hassles of traffic congestion.
“Goods are cleared in record time while the location of the terminal makes it attractive for truckers. All these have increased our patronage and made the initial terminal capacity inadequate to satisfy the increasing demand,’’ he said.
Afolabi said that the terminal had consequently acquired adjoining properties to increase its total capacity from the 15,000 square metres at inception to 83,000 square metres.
He said that the company had contracted China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd for the construction of the terminal’s pavement.
Afolabi said that SIFAX contracted CCECC in order to ensure that the terminal operates in line with global standards in terms of infrastructure.
Also speaking, Mr Paul vd Linden, SIFAX Managing Director, Shipping ICT Ltd., who signed the contract, said the strategic nature of the terminal and the need to build a durable infrastructure at the facility necessitated the choice of CCECC.
According to him, CCECC is a notable construction company with a track record of excellent service across the country.
“Having expanded the size of the terminal, we needed to put the terminal floor in a world-class state and that is the reason CCECC was contracted.
“Due to the heavy-duty equipment that has been deployed, a super solid concrete surface that can withstand the pressure became necessary.
“We are excited with this agreement signed with CCECC and we are convinced they will deliver the project within the agreed time,’’ Linden said.
He said that some of the future plan of the terminal in terms of technology deployment, modern facilities, excellent customer service and infrastructural development; include the building of a strong quay.
Linden added that this was in readiness to berth feeder vessels, as well as the purchase of more cargo handling equipment and a transit park for trucks using the facility.