FG Shuts down Apapa Gridlock Management Unit

NPA Begins Implementation Of Minimum Safety Standards For Trucks

The Federal Government has shut down the operations of the Presidential Task Force on the Apapa Gridlock. The unit was headed by former Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa.

The announcement was made by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani on Friday, in Lagos, at a stakeholders gathering. In attendance at the meeting were officials of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), truck owners and representatives of shipping companies.

The meeting was convened with a view to finding a workable solution to the perennial gridlock hampering the free flow of vehicular movement to and out of the nation’s seaports.

READ ALSO: Apapa Gridlock Drives Container Shipping Cost To Nigeria To $600m Monthly

Ajani stated that a new team would be put in place to handle traffic management at the port access road.

She added that the blockade of Tin Can Island Port by truck drivers will no longer be tolerated and will be dealt with decisively.

She said, “We must have some form of orderliness. Trucks must only get on the road when they are called to come in, and if that happens we shouldn’t have trucks on the road.

“We also want to plead with the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Police; enforcement is very key. Enforcing means don’t let people who should not be on the road come on the road, because if there are no trucks on the road, we won’t have the miscreants. There will not be anyone to coerce on the road. Who gives the miscreants access into the port when they are not supposed to be there?”

The permanent secretary stated that the immediate step required to address the gridlock is to enforce discipline on the road.

On the truck electronic call-up system proposed by the Nigerian Ports Authority as solution to the gridlock, the Permanent Secretary said, “Before the electronic call-up system starts, you’ve been operating for decades. How have you been calling up your trucks? Manual, I presume. So, why can’t you get back to that and make sure that it is a functional call-up? Functional call-up is the word.

“We all have our roles to play, but the typical thing is that we want to show that we have authority somewhere, and everybody trying to show that they have authority somewhere is what has ended us where we are now.”

The gridlock, according to her, “just boils down to gross indiscipline”.

About Author

Victor Okeh is a graduate of Economics from Lagos State University. He is versatile in reporting business and economy, politics and finance, and entrepreneurship articles. He can be reached via – [email protected]

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