LEFT: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr Kamar Olowoshago, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Hon. Sola Giwa, at the Stakeholders Meeting on Trailers and Articulated Vehicles operating in Apapa, held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja
The Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, has certified a total of 7000 trucks and articulated vehicles fit to engage in the digitalized call up system, that will be launched in a week’s time, 27th February 2021, as an innovation to end indiscriminate parking along the Apapa wharf road with an excuse of denying access to lift cargo from the port, and its attendant’s protracted gridlock which often causes traffic snarl that are mostly felt in all major roads throughout the metropolis.
Another rule of engagement for those enlisted in the digitalized call up system is that the trucks must have a bar code in order to access the port, other conditionalities is that such truck desiring access must have emanated from the holding bays or the truck parks.
For designated truck parks, they are under compulsion to install Close Circuit Television Cameras, CCTV and monitor, that must be functioning, uninterrupted round the clock with a reliable source of power supply to ensure adequate monitoring of the activities and movements of articulated vehicles, trucks, and tankers.
The Manager in charge of transport and logistics at the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Mr Ayodele Durowaye, made these known at a forum by the Lagos state government, at Adeyemi Bero hall, government secretariat, to acquaint truckers, articulated vehicle drivers, freight forwarders, and various traffic law enforcement agencies of the readiness of the newly established task force to apply the rule of the law without fear of favour in clearing the Augean stable that access to the Apapa port has become for a considerable number of years.
While welcoming participants to the parley, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, who is the Chairman of the Special Traffic Management Team, reiterated that any truck outside the call-up lists generated by the Nigerian Ports Authority would be impounded if caught obstructing the flow of traffic on the roads.
The Special Adviser declared that noncompliance by the trailer and truck operators will be met with the full weight of the Law, advising that they utilize the grace period to get their acts together and conform to the various directives, adding that vehicles in poor conditions should be prevented from entering the ports and will be sanctioned if caught operating within the metropolis.
Fayinka also affirmed that all the agencies of both the federal and state governments involved in the exercise who are, the Nigerian Port Authority, the Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority are unitedly working with his Team.
He said the team had begun to regularly share information but with a special bias to the information on traffic management in and out of Apapa and unusual attention is being given to inappropriately parked trucks, un-roadworthy trucks that often damage the roads and those that pollute the environment with excessive carbon monoxide their exhaust emits into the atmosphere thus constituting a lot of threat to the environment.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP. Hakeem Odumosu assured that the Nigerian Police would back up all Lagos State Enforcement Teams and Agencies, adding that activities of touts would be checked and the issue of the unnecessary checkpoint at the Port axis would also be collapsed as these were necessary in order to checkmate illegal business activities.
Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Olusegun Ogungbemide, proposed that Standard Operating Procedures be developed to outline the role of every stakeholder in resolving Apapa gridlock.
Ogoungbemide demanded a harmonized strategy on the part of the unions and a synergized efforts with terminal operators with the view to mitigating the heinous traffic situation that had become a constant feature in the Tin can Apapa port axis foe a protracted period.
The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Engr. Olajide Oduyoye, warned that under no circumstances should any LASTMA Officer be attacked or harmed while discharging his or her duties.
Oduyoye however, advised that corrupt Officers should be reported and to enable LASTMA management take speedy disciplinary measure on any officer accused of wrongdoing, the complainant should please present shreds of evidence of wrongdoing of any of LASTMA operatives.
In response to the addresses by the various Government representatives in the transportation subsector of the state’s economy, the Union representatives of Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Association, (COMTUA), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO),
Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Logistic Practitioners Association of Nigeria (LPAN), and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwards (NAGAFF), appealed to Government to listen to them as stakeholders, stating that members of their Unions must regularly be carried along in further deliberations and processes.
The unions also requested the Special Traffic Management Enforcement Team, to take deep steps and acquire necessary authorization to probe the Shipper’s Council, APMT, the Law Enforcement checkpoints and Port operations, explaining that the unnecessary queues to the Ports that extend for weeks were being fuelled by the aforementioned groups.
Closing the meeting, The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transportation, Mr Kamar Olowoshago, thanked all stakeholders for their participation and contributions to the cause at hand, assuring that the deliberations reached will be considered for the benefit of all stakeholders in the sector.
Also present at the Stakeholders’ meeting were other members of the Special Traffic Management Enforcement Team, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Hon. Sola Giwa, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Political Security Intelligence, Ayodeji LaurentShare