Maritime Report

January 6, 2021

Illegal truck passage shuts down Tin-Can truck transit park

Court to NURTW: Truckers engaged by clearing, forwarding agencies belong to MWUN

By Godfrey Bivbere

FOLLOWING illegal passage of trucks into Tin-can Island  port, the concessionaire of the Tin-can Truck Transit Park, TTP, has temporarily shutdown operations due to lack of patronage.

Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that the truckers who were patronising the park before now are staying away as they are no longer being called up to get access into the port as was originally planned.

A source close to the Tin-can Island port management said that trucks are now being passed illegally into the port bypassing the TTP, a situation which has also worsened the traffic nightmare of the Apapa port environment.

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The source said the increased volume of trucks being moved into the port by barges also undermines the usage of the transit park to gain access to the port. The source further explained that access to the port has now been more compromised in terms of both road accessibility and shipment of trucks by barges.

Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Apapa traffic, Kayode Opeifa, in a chat with Vanguard Maritime Report hinted that the temporal shutdown of the TTP was inevitable because they hardly passed thirty trucks into the port as trucks coming into the port illegally through the waters have taken over the business.

He also stated: “Four things are happening on the port access road; there is Customs check; NPA security checks; Stripping processes going on and too many trucks coming in and struggling to enter their allotted terminal. When all these get to a point, it chokes up the system; there is also barging operation ongoing at Creek Road illegally. When those ones come they drive against traffic because they come at midnight, supported by security people, not the police.

“They come against traffic and block trucks coming from Tin-can loaded. Right now, all trucks from Tin-can that are loaded go through Apapa because of the road construction. When they block them, trucks cannot come out from the ports while others cannot go in. Trucks are supposed to go in through the underground to the transit park.”

Opeifa also accused terminal operators of lacking in operations efficiency which is a contributing factor to the traffic situation.

“The terminal operator must improve on its efficiency. There is an efficiency gap, barging operation should be regulated in such a way that not too many trucks come onto the port terminals more than the port facilities can cope with. Importers and exporters should follow rules. The government must ensure the issue of demurrage on empty container is stopped,” he noted.