The Lagos State Government has announced its readiness to commence the impounding of heavy articulated vehicles operating outside the call-up list generated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) if caught obstructing the free flow of traffic on the roads.
This follows the resolve of the state government to end the incessant gridlock that is experienced at the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, port access roads and the Apapa axis.
This disclosure was made by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation and Chairman of the Special Traffic Management Team, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held on Thursday at Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Ikeja.
The meeting was part of the engagement with heavy-duty truck owners, unions and other stakeholders towards the resolution of the protracted traffic congestion on that axis.
Fayinka, who disclosed that the state ministry of transportation has received several petitions from residents of Apapa, Ijora, Tincan, Sifax and Mile 2 and forwarded to his team, complained of the unruly behaviour of truckers which has prevented other road users from accessing their desired destinations with ease.
While making an appeal to stakeholders to cooperate with the State Government to remedy the situation, the Special Adviser declared that non-compliance from trailer and truck operators will be met with the full weight of the Law.
He advised the haulage vehicles to utilise the grace period to get their acts together and conform with directives issued out, noting that vehicles in poor condition would be prevented from entering the ports and sanctioned if caught operating within the metropolis.
Fayinka also affirmed that the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority are collaborating with his team to manage traffic into Apapa and prevent the illegal parking of trailers and trucks causing severe damages to road infrastructure and compounding traffic gridlock.
While making his own contribution at the meeting, the representative of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr Ayodele Durowaye, praised the stakeholders present for their positive contributions, stressing that the primary responsibility of the NPA is cargo handling, and as such, the responsibility of keeping trucks at parks and holding bays during the process of port activities is solely that of the operators.
He said that trucks parked indiscriminately beneath and on the bridge, as well as highways, were aberrations and unbefitting in the Lagos Smart City Master plan, noting that the State Government has rights to impound any truck causing obstruction and violating the States’ Traffic law as the ports are transit points designed to hold cargoes temporarily.
Durowaye assured that the Agency will submit the routing plan showing the allotted movement for trucks to unveil impediments caused by the indiscriminate stop and search that hamper the efficiency of the call-up roaster and cause delays, recommending that allegations levelled against the Shipping Lines should be addressed with petitions to enable penalties, including Ship Entry Notice Denials and Cancellation of Licenses of the erring shipping line.
The NPA representative stated further that about 7000 trucks have been certified fit for the proposed digitalised call up system, revealing that effective from 27th of February, 2021, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code to access the ports.
In his contribution, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP. Mr Hakeem Odumosu assured that the Nigerian Police would back up all Lagos State Enforcement Teams and Agencies, adding that touting would be checked to checkmate illegal business activities, while the issue of unnecessary checkpoints on roads to the Ports will be collapsed.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Engr. Olajide Oduyoye warned that under no circumstances should any LASTMA Officer be attacked or harmed while discharging their duties, enjoining everyone to report corrupt Officers, with evidence, to the agency.
What you should know
- Following the withdrawal of the Presidential Task Force on port congestion, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, set up a Special Traffic Management Team to resolve the traffic gridlock in and around the Apapa corridor.
- The NPA had launched an Electronic Truck call-up system, Eto, designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos ports and to end the gridlock in and around the ports, complement the drive for a business-friendly and secure environment for port business in Nigeria.
- During the implementation of the new system, all trucks doing business at the ports will be required to park at the approved truck parks until they are called up into the port through the Eto app.
- The Lagos State Government through its newly constituted Traffic Management Enforcement Team to resolve Apapa gridlocks and the Nigerian Port Authority Security Team also identified 7 parks as holding bay for trucks around the metropolis.
In line with the mandate of the Special Traffic Management Enforcement Team to resolve the incessant gridlock that has plagued Apapa and its environs, the team has continued to engage stakeholders towards eliminating the protracted traffic congestion in the axis.@jidesanwoolu pic.twitter.com/ymIC3z6zH8
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) February 18, 2021