Weeping For Tin Can Island And Apapa Ports Roads By Joe Igbokwe
Anybody who wants to know the extent of damage inflicted on the nation in years of the locusts should visit Apapa and Tin Can Island to see the state of the roads leading the premier ports. I have an office in Apapa, and to all intents and purposes, I have seen it all. Make no mistake about it we have had political leaders, CEO of parastatals and the private sector in Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports who cared less about infrastructure development and economic growth. They were only interested in what goes into their pockets while the nation went down. All you need to do is to take a trip to the ports and see the rot for yourself. Like I have said before the ports are broken national mirrors, chaotic zones and the shame of the nation.
Now something needs to be done as soon as possible. There is no need to continue to cry over spilled milk. Current leaders must roll up their shirts and do the needful. First, we need to clear the mess around the ports. We have to remove the broken down vehicles, chase away hundreds of people milling around the ports doing nothing, chase Okada riders, petty traders, mechanics, etc away and if possible close the ports for a while. We have to have the courage to do this for the sake of this country and those who do business at the ports. Our ports must look like what we see in other countries like Singapore, China and Dubai: In serious economies, seaports are restricted zones. They tell stories of how prepared and how serious they are. The gateways of any serious nation whether seaports or Airports are very important areas that must be well built and well secured. Nigeria is too important to be in isolation in a fast moving world.
They remain very important mirrors that speak volume about the thinking of leaders. Nigeria should not be an exception. The shame that we see in our ports is replicated in almost evert critical institution in Nigeria be it universities, hospitals, government offices, etc. All these put together tell us in no uncertain terms the state of the minds of our past leaders. It at once drives the points home that you cannot give what you do not have.
I am of the opinion that Nigerian leaders must go extra miles in rebuilding our institutions whatever it takes. If we have to borrow, let it be. This is the reason why I support President Buhari’s idea to borrow 30 billion dollars to rebuild our infrastructure. This is one very important way of getting back our economy from recession. It will create jobs, put money in many hands and attract investment. A time like this calls for collective thinking, collective approach and collective responsibility in fixing a battered, plundered, abused and gang-raped nation. Things we failed to do yesterday out of collective and despicable greed are hunting us today.
Now, what are we doing today to ensure a better tomorrow or are we still sleeping? My advice is this: invest today, lay the foundation today, suffer a little today and save today to have a rewarding and prosperous future. This is the way to go.