Maritime

NARTO hails removal of navy, other security agencies from controlling Apapa traffic

Written by Maritime First

The  Lagos State Vice-President, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Mr Abdullahi Mohammad-Inunwa has hailed Federal Government’s withdrawal of the Nigerian Naval officers and other military formations from controlling traffic at the Apapa Port, describing it as a welcome development.

Mr Mohammad-Inunwa, the  Lagos State NARTO Vice-President, Dry Cargo Sector, gave the commendation on Sunday, noting that the inclusion of the security agencies in the task force actually compounded the gridlock in and around the port.

“When President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lagos during his electioneering, the trucks were cleared off the roads within hours.

“The public then asked what  magic was performed by us to achieve it.

“But, there was no other magic that we performed than synergising  with  the Nigeria Ports Authority’s Task Force Chairman, Commodore Eyo, and the Council of Maritime Transport Union Association (COMTUA).

“We had meetings with NPA where  we jointly agreed on modalities  to apply.

“The NPA team  then promised to introduce truck manual call-up scheme, ” he said.

Inua also  attributed the gridlock  to the failure of  some shipping companies to provide truck bays as stipulated in their agreement with the government.

“The shipping companies were not able to provide truck bays outside the port.

“With truck bays, they will be able to move their trucks in batches after receiving approval from the NPA to the terminals for either loading or dropping off, of  empty containers.

The Head of Operations of COMTUA also said that this deficiency on the part of the shipping companies amounted to  sabotaging Federal Government’s policy on  ease of doing business at the port.

He called for an effective transport call-up system for entry of trucks to port which he said was successful in the first three weeks of its introduction.

He said that both the government  and the truck owners were losing  billions of naira as a result of the gridlock .

He commended the Federal Government  for acting  on  the petitions by the truck owners and pleaded  for the inclusion of COMTUA in a new task force  that would be reconstituted for the  port access road. 

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had  last  Wednesday mandated  the Nigerian Navy and all other military formations to withdraw from traffic management duties in and around the Apapa axis.

It also said that all military and paramilitary checkpoints in front of the ports and environs should be dismantled.

The government said that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) should move into Apapa as the lead traffic management agency.

It also said that the NPA should  commence the immediate use of the Lilypond Terminal and Trailer Park A as a truck transit park.

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