By Evelyn Usman
Lagos—FED up with the chaotic and indiscriminate parking of trucks with the attendant lingering gridlock on the Apapa/Oshodi expressway, Lagos ,Nigerian Navy, has handed down a one-week ultimatum to all trucks to vacate Lagos roads.
Already, the Navy has begun to turn back trucks which do not have the newly introduced CALL-UP-CARD which gives trucks access into the ports.
As at Wednesday, it began the enforcement at the Tin-Can and Apapa Ports where trucks without call-up-cards were sent out of the queue, to allow free flow of traffic along the congested axis.
Vanguard gathered that the one-week ultimatum to trucks to vacate Lagos roads was reached after several meetings with stakeholders, on how to proffer an immediate and lasting solution to the chaotic situation that has overwhelmed relevant security agents, particularly along the ever busy Oshodi/Apapa Expressway.
The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft, Commodore Okon Eyo said: “The highlight of the meeting is that in the next one week, all the trucks that are on the road will not be there. We have advised that there should be no more delay at the Ports gates. When a container comes there, it should not be waiting to be processed or checked again. That should have been done before it is asked to come forward, with the call-up-card. We are giving all trucks one week to vacate the roads. We have already started the enforcement and every stakeholder is aware and has subscribed to the process and the responsibilities that go with it. NPA security agents will work with our men. They (NPA officials) are to identify trucks that are free to go to the ports while my men will ensure that those that are not identified are turned back and go out of the queue. We will be doing this gradually until the one week is exhausted.
NPA to sanction erring shipping companies
“While this is going on, NPA is to inform shipping agencies to start operating their holding bays .The trucks that will be leaving after this one week, are not supposed to come back by road anyhow, on their own again. When they finish discharging whatever they carried out, they are to take their containers to the holding bays of the shipping companies responsible.”
“NPA has agreed that it will no longer take it lightly with any shipping company without holding bays. This is because they (shipping companies) have flouted part of the conditions for the partnership concession with the NPA. It is a major requirement for shipping agency to have a holding bay. ”