Connect with us

Headlines

NPA, Lagos government restrategise to surmount malignant Apapa traffic gridlock

Eyewitness reporter
After the initial setback in taming the Apapa traffic monster which has so far defied every solution deployed by relevant authorities, the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) and the Lagos State government have both gone back to the drawing board to restrategise on how to subdue the rampaging traffic.
Towards this end, the management of NPA led by its Acting Managing Director, Mr. Muhammed Bello-Koko on Saturday met with the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to adopt stronger measures to curb corrupt practices and alleged extortion of truck drivers by traffic and security operatives along the Lagos Ports corridor.

The NPA boss alongside the Executive Director Marine and Operations, other management staff, including Port Managers of Lagos Ports Complex and Tin Can Island Port Complex, Managing Directors of Apapa Bulk Terminal and Dangote Port Operations among other stakeholders, held a meeting with Mr. Governor and his team at the Lagos House in Marina.

Speaking at the meeting, the NPA Acting MD harped on the need to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws along the Apapa and Tin Can Ports roads.

Bello-Koko stated that the NPA has been inundated with complaints of extortions from truckers, especially by security operatives, including the Military, the Police and NPA Security, demanding money from drivers before accessing the Ports.

He described the ugly practice as a major disincentive to the smooth implementation of the truck call-up system.

Bello-Koko lamented that it has been alleged that no less than thirty “toll-points” have sprung up around the Apapa and Tin Can Port, where bribes are being collected before trucks are allowed into the Port.

Speaking with journalists after a 3 -hour closed-door meeting with the Lagos State Governor, Bello-Koko said “one of the complaints of the truckers has to do with extortion by security operatives, the Army, the Police, the Nigerian Navy and even NPA Security staff.

“This is one of the areas we require the intervention of Government, in this case, the Lagos State Government because we have Police Officers deployed from the State Command who are allegedly involved in this.

“We at the NPA have resolved to take the right punitive measures against any of our staff involved in this, we have moved some of them out of Port locations, and we will do further reviews, whoever is found involved, would be appropriately sanctioned.

“Because of the involvement of several security units, many checkpoints have been created, we believe there are over thirty checkpoints within the Apapa and TinCan Port axis, and we believe that this is a major issue causing delays and a whole lot of problems, this was one of the concerns we raised at our meeting with His Excellency,” he said.

The NPA boss acknowledged that the Lagos State Government has been a close partner, especially when it comes to enforcement, both in terms of providing security operatives and monitoring of the “Eto” call-up system, however, said there is a need to further strengthen that collaboration.

He explained that last week after an assessment visit, he directed the “Eto” Project Consultant and operator of the Lilypond Truck Transit Park to redouble their efforts, especially on the deployment of necessary physical and IT infrastructure as well as adequate human resources, to address the gaps and complaints of a delay from Port users.

He disclosed that the Authority has given the TTP company “marching orders” to immediately see to the deployment of these infrastructures, so as to reduce the waiting time of trucks in and out of the Port.

Bello-Koko further said that the meeting discussed the matter of poor access roads, especially around Sunrise Bus-stop leading to the Tin Can Port.

 “The situation now is that trucks going to Tin Can are now following the Apapa Port road, so no matter how much you control the traffic in Apapa, it would be seen as if you are doing nothing.
” NPA has reached out to the Federal Ministry of Works, we have been speaking with the Director of Works in the State, and we have asked that they should provide some palliatives around Sunrise  Bus-stop.
“We were made to understand that the contract for that section of the road has just been awarded, but because of the rains, work has been delayed.
” There is need for that part of the road to be graded so that the Tin-Can Port corridor would begin to enjoy some measure of free flow of traffic”, he said.

According to the NPA Boss “we have stakeholders like Dangote and others who have factories within the Port and each of them may need to bring in about 300 trucks daily, but it has to be done in such a way that their operations do not affect the need of other Port users to send in their trucks or exporters to send in and bring their trucks out freely.

“Mr. Governor has given his commitments to further engage the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, he has also directed the CEO of LASTMA and his Special Assistants, who all have given their commitments, that further action would be taken to keep the Port roads free of congestion.
” It will be a 24 -hour operation, we rely on the Lagos State Government on enforcement as it affects traffic along the Port access roads, His Excellency has given us his commitment to that effect and for immediate actions to be taken”, Bello-Koko stated.

Bello said he was optimistic that the renewed collaboration with the Lagos State Government would bring an end to the perennial gridlock within and around the Apapa metropolis.

He restated that henceforth, trucks that have not been registered or do not have the “Eto” ticket would not have access to the Port.

 “We want residents of Apapa to be able to commute daily without stress, we need to also ensure that containers go into the Port and come out smoothly, we believe that with this meeting, solutions have been found, NPA would play its part and the Government of Lagos would play its part, he said.

“We have directed TTP to deploy necessary infrastructure such as bollards, spikes and automated barriers, while CCTVs be fully installed at the port gates (entry and exit points), especially at the TInCan Island Port where such equipment is practically non-existent at the moment.

“Similarly,  operators of approved parks and holding bays should immediately take steps to install such equipment in their terminals”, he added.

He also spoke on efforts by the Authority to address the myriad of hiccups associated with the return of empty containers to the Port.

He explained that the empty container policy of NPA requires all shipping companies bringing boxes into the country to establish holding bays for their containers.
According to Koko, “shipping lines are to have holding bays capable of handling 50 – 65 percent of their monthly throughput. These companies are aware of the consequences of non-compliance.
” There is an ongoing assessment of parameters required for the release of 2021 licenses and the report is due any moment. That (report) would determine the qualification of a shipping line to operate in the country”, he said.

Bello-Koko further said that efforts are on to significantly improve the transfer and processing of exports at the Port.

 In his words, “the Authority is collaborating with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to establish a seamless integration of the export processing terminals into the “Eto” platform.
“This in addition to the Lilypond Export Terminal expected to take off soon, will serve as dedicated export loading points.
” The move would reduce travel time along the port corridor, safeguard the quality of the country’s exports and impact positively on government’s revenue from non-oil exports”, the NPA MD stressed.
Speaking at the meeting, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu assured that the State is going to work closely with the NPA in ensuring that the truck call-up system is successful and the nation’s economy benefits optimally.

During his interactive session with Port stakeholders, Governor Sanwo-Olu called on all port users to be alert to their responsibilities in putting an end to the gridlock in Apapa.

He said there was a need for Port service providers, security agencies and NPA to adhere to their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as well as invest in the needed infrastructure which would galvanise the “Eto” system to heightened performance.

He assured that the State Government would commence engagements with the petroleum tanker drivers, tank farm owners and the NUPENG Union, to ensure that they are factored into the “Eto” call-up system.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the poor state of the Sunrise Bus-stop corridor has been identified as the major cause of the traffic congestion into the Tin Can Island Port, and there is a need for the contractors to speed up work around that area.

On his part, the General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Jide Oduyoye, said that Port users should expect a renewed vigour from LASTMA in dealing with the traffic situation around the Lagos Ports.

He said, “there are issues of tankers that are not part of the “Eto” system that needs to be part of the system because once the roads are cleared, we suddenly find out that the petrol tankers occupy the roads which makes it look as if nothing has happened.

“The ongoing construction around Apapa needs to be sped up. They’re also the need for other road users to co-operate with the Government, if there is a process that we all adhere to, no matter the delay, it would be seen as fair and beneficial to everyone”, he advised.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Headlines

IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola

 

— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

Continue Reading

Customs

Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali

 

–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG

 

The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: