By Godwin Oritse
THE traffic gridlock currently being experienced along the Mile-2 end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway leading to the port access road is due to the inability of truck drivers to adhere to the electronic call-up time table prepared for trucks to go the pre-gates before entering the ports.
Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that a time table for five categories of vehicles to enter the ports had been drawn up and sent to all relevant stakeholders with a view to getting their cooperation and ease the traffic situation in and around Apapa.
Sources close to Transit Truck Park Limited also said that the categories of vehicles that the time table is applicable are trucks carrying export cargoes, flatbeds, truck carrying empty containers, reefer trucks (refrigerated container bearing trucks) and general cargo trucks.
According to a document sighted by Vanguard Maritime Report, the trucks carrying empty containers are to book their onward movement from 6pm up till 12 midnight before they are allowed into the ports as movement to pre-gates commences between 10am – 4pm.
Flatbeds are supposed to book their movement to pre-gates between 12 noon and 6pm, while they are also supposed to move into the port to load between 4am and 6am with a second window for between 10am and 4pm, and 8pm and 10pm.
Between 12noon and 3pm, export cargoes are to book their movements to the pre-gates after which they move to pre-gates between 10pm and 4am to the ports to discharge their cargoes.
For fish imports, the reefer trucks are scheduled to make their bookings to pre-gates between 6pm and 12midnight while movement to pre-gates commences between 4am till 7am. General cargo trucks are billed to book their entrance to the pre-gates between 12noon and 6pm for their onward movement from the pre-gates to the port at 12 midnight till 4am.
Speaking on the development, President of the Association of Maritime Trucks Owners, AMATO, Mr. Remi Ogungbemi, who hinted that the truckers are not adhering to the time table, said that he heard about the time table for trucks’ entrance to the pre-gates and then to the port as a rumour.
Ogunbgemi lamented the failure of the system and called for the restructuring of the entire port industry.
He said: “There is need for urgent restructuring of the entire system as nothing is working now.”