The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said that the Federal Government has concluded plans to deploy 200 security officers to Apapa and Tin Can Ports.
They are to assist in clearing the traffic congestion on the route and enforce compliance of no ‘road side parking’ by heavy articulated vehicles.
According to the Media Assistant to the Minister, this disclosure was made by Amaechi at a meeting with Maritime Stakeholders and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) in Lagos, following the threat by the union to embark on strike if the government failed to address the gridlock on the route.
What the Minister is saying
Amaechi said that there should be a Steering Committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Magdalene Ajani, with its membership drawn from the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council, MWUN, Road Safety and Lagos State Government, to seat monthly until the challenges are overcome.
- “The issue of traffic on these routes is because in Nigeria we don’t discipline people. People do whatever they like even when it’s wrong because there is no consequence for our actions. We need security officers to enforce compliance on truck blocking the road. 100 men each at Tin Can and Apapa to be stationed there everyday because Nigerians don’t obey until there are consequences for actions. NPA, Shippers Council must have a level of funding to resolve these challenges. We need to talk to Shippers and Traders especially those around Warri, to see how they can be using Warri port, so that Lagos Ports will be decongested. We can get security to follow the cargoes to that area, so that traders from Aba, Onitsha that are ready to use that Port can go there.”
While disclosing that the union wanted to go on strike because of the hardship faced by workers due to the gridlock, the Deputy Secretary-General of MWUN, Abudu Eroje, said that the union is now part of the Implementation Committee which took a decision that letters will be sent out to all relevant stakeholders with an ultimatum for all trucks to leave the road and return to their various parks.
Eroje said that a manual call-up system would commence before the electronic system to enable all access road to Tin Can by Mile 2 be cleared.
What this means
The strict implementation of this plan by the Federal Government will help ease the traffic congestion, which has negatively impacted on businesses and socio-economic life in that axis.
However, it is yet to be seen if the new security officers that would be deployed would not follow in the footsteps of the previous security officers, who were allegedly accused of collecting gratification from truck owners for passage.