•As Shippers call for palliative works on bad portion of Apapa road
By Godfrey Bivbere
THE Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has said that it will deploy the much expected automated call-up system of trucks into the Apapa ports in Lagos to curb the problematic traffic congestions along the port corridors by next month.
This is even as shippers have charged the contractors working on the port access roads to carry out palliative works on the failed portions of the roads between Berger-yard Bus Stop and Berger Suya Bus Stop, outward Tin-can Island port.
The deployment of the automated call-up system is part of the measures aimed at resolving the traffic gridlock that has threatened to ground port operations at Tin-can port.
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, had threatened to embark on a warning strike last week over the gridlock.
A statement signed by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Ibrahim Nasiru, noted that the NPA management “assured members of the union and other stakeholders that the problem of congestion and rent-seeking on access roads to the ports will soon become history with the scheduled deployment of an electronic call-up system for trucks in January 2021.
“Management is working with the Lagos State Government to provide truck holding bays as part of the implementation of the e-call up system. Management is partnering with the Lagos State Government to deploy law enforcement officers for the maintenance of sanity along the Port Logistic Ring.
“In the interim, management is liaising with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the immediate commencement of remedial works on failed portions of the port access road.
“Management reiterated the directive to all shipping companies to ensure that the size of their respective empty container holding bay is commensurate with the volume of containers they bring into the ports, in line with NPA policy on empty containers. Failure to adhere to this will attract sanctions
“Shipping companies are to be responsible for the movement of empty containers from their holding bays to the Port. Consignees are to drop empty boxes at the designated empty container holding bays.
“Failure of shipping companies to remove empty containers at the holding bay will attract sanctions. Management, therefore, calls on all stakeholders and Port users to go about their businesses as ports operations will continue unhindered,” Nasiru stated.
President of the Shippers Association of Lagos State, SALS, Jonathan Nicol, stressed the need for palliative, noting the difficulties encountered by port stakeholders.