FG unfolds 7-point agenda to tackle Apapa gridlock….As Maritime workers suspend planned strike

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

THE Federal Government, through the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, yesterday, unfolded a seven-point agenda to tackle the perennial Oshodi-Apapa expressway traffic situation, just as the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, suspended its planned three-day warning strike over the unending gridlock.

In a communiqué by the NPA management and leaders of MWUN, after six hours meeting, the Ports authority informed that some of the plans would take off from January 2021.

The maritime workers had scheduled a three-day warning strike, to have started from yesterday, to protest the take-over of Oshodi-Apapa expressway by heavy-duty trucks, denying other road users access to the expressway.

The communiqué was signed by Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Koko, on behalf of NPA’s Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, and the President-General of MWUN, Mr. Adeyanju Adewale.

The communiqué reads: “All Shipping Companies are to ensure that the size of their respective empty container holding bays are commensurate with the volumes of containers they bring in line with the NPA policy on empty containers. Failure to adhere will result in sanctions.

“All shipping companies are to be responsible for moving empty containers from their holding bays to the port for evacuations. Consignees are to drop empty boxes at the designated empty containers holding bays, failure of the shipping companies to remove the empty container at the holding bays will result in sanctions.

READ ALSO: NPA ties renewal of shipping firms’ license to holding bays

“The Authority (NPA) is putting in place an e-call up system to ensure orderly movement of trucks into the Ports effective January 2021.

The Management (NPA) is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to provide land as truck Holding Bay to support the implementation of the e-call up system initiated by the Authority.

“The NPA will liaise with the Ministry of Works and Housing on areas that require palliatives on Ports access roads for immediate attention. Management is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to deploy an enforcement team to enforce sanity along the Ports Logistics Ring. Management will continue to encourage intermodal transportation to improve the efficiency of Ports operations.”

Maritime workers suspend planned strike

Meanwhile, in a statement announcing the suspension of the strike after an emergency National Executive Council, NEC, meeting yesterday, Adewale said: “At the meeting held with the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, the issues contained in our NEC communiqué of December 4, 2020, were discussed and assurances of addressing the issues appropriately were given by the management of Nigerian Ports Authority as contained in the communiqué drawn after the meeting.

“Following the foregoing, the Union called an emergency NEC meeting on December 9, 2020, and after due consideration of the assurance and commitment given by the Managing Director of the NPA, Hajia Usman, the Union decided to suspend the three days warning strike.”

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