Jime blames intractable traffic gridlock on port access road on Lagos government toll collection machinery
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), on Tuesday, said physical toll collection by agents of the Lagos State government is fuelling traffic gridlock on the Port access road.
Speaking during an enlarged Presidential Port Standing Task Team meeting and an update on the second phase of operation free the port Corridor along Apapa- Tin-Can- Coconut -Berger yard – Mile2-Orile-Ijora Sifax, the executive secretary of the council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, urged the Lagos state government to automate its toll collection processes.
The Shippers’ Council boss, however, commended the PSTT officers of clearing the port access road, saying the access roads were filled with shanties allowing extortion.
Though he said he recognised the need for the state government to increase revenue to meet current economic and social challenges, he, however, advised the deployment of technology in the state to enhance the ease of doing business and to make the road free of encumbrances.
He said, “We recognize government resolve to raise revenue whether the state or Local Government. This is important and we needed to recognize that the purpose of the task team was to clear the port corridor of traffic because if we don’t do this, we won’t be able to get efficiency and economies of scale have shown that if we have efficiency the port and government will make more money.
“But, in raising revenue, it has to be done so that ease of doing business is not affected. This is the 21st century, we can collect revenue and deploy technology, we appeal to the government because the method used in collecting toll on the road is outdated, we can find the more ideal way of doing that without impeding traffic,” he said.
However, the Lagos state government said it will be introducing another method for the Lagos State Park and Gardens and the Apapa Local Government officials to collect tolls in other to ease the gridlock on the port access road
The LASG, who was represented by one of the directors in the Ministry of Transportation, Olayinka Sakiru, said residents of Apapa have abandoned the port city due to the heavy traffic it suffered in the past.
He, however, commended the PSTT, saying they have cleared the port access road of traffic which he said has increased the ease of doing business at the nation’s seaports.
He said, “We are also concerned about that toll collection, they (park management) should have another mode of collection instead of being on the road. We will work on that because we know hawking and collection of tolls add to gridlock. We are working on it. Many residents have run away from Apapa because of the gridlock, we have noticed the success of the task team,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the coordinator, Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), Moses Fadipe, said the Port access road was cleared of encumbrances in 32 days.
Fadipe also lamented the activities of transport unions and local government officials that collect tolls on the access road, saying they, as well, impede the free flow of traffic.
“This is a journey we started on the 14th April 2022, with a distance of 2.6km where we have about 26 extortion points. The road seems like a nightmare when we started, but no matter how the problem is, if there is co-operation, they would be able to surmount the problem.”
“Before our operation, the roads were turned into indiscriminate parking lots, mechanic workshops and refuse dumps. We did a lot of education before enforcement and cleared all encumbrances in 32 days.”
He continued, “Local government officials are using the corridor for toll collection. Also, suspended members of NURTW found on the port corridor collecting toll were arrested, as well as, the park managers.”
He, however, bemoaned attacks on members of the task team saying, “We have seen several attacks on the task team, physical and forceful attack, for instance, we have an officer that was attacked, he has been in the hospital for over two weeks,” we thank God he’s alive and not dead,” he stated.
Traffic gridlock returns to Apapa port as Federal government closes Total bridge for maintainance works
“Given the impact the closure will have on Port users, the Authority in partnership with LASTMA, Police, FRSC, and the Nigerian Navy have worked out alternative routes and are on the ground to manage the traffic situation in the affected areas.
“The Authority wishes to solicit the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders as we continue to support measures to mitigate the temporary disruptions, the NPA pleaded.
NIMASA collaborates with NCC to regulate submarine cable operation for enhanced navigational safety on Nigerian waters
The eyewitness reporter
Apparently alarmed by the indiscriminate laying of communication cables and pipelines underneath the Nigerian waters by telecommunications operators and other allied professionals which has the potential of harming the safe navigation of ships, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has engaged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a strategic discussion to forge a formidable synergy with other relevant stakeholders with a view to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.
Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of Doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters.
“Our focus is to ensure the safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
“NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation, urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.
NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS.
NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.
Comptroller Nnadi mourns death of retired customs officer, DCG Sanusi
“He passed on about an hour ago at a private hospital in Abuja. The Janaza prayers hold after the Zuhr prayers (1 pm) at the National Mosque, Abuja In Shaa Allah,”
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