Lagos State Government has decided to impound trucks packed on highways to proffer solution to the menace of trucks causing gridlocks in Apapa.
This was disclosed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu during his meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA).
The duo agreed that from next Saturday, the movement of trucks in and out of the Lagos seaports will be organised through a transparent electronic call-up system that will be based on a first-come-first-serve basis.
He said, “With the new system, no container-laden truck is expected to go on Apapa corridor without clearance from the call-up platform. Any truck that flouts the electronic roster and park along Apapa corridor will be impounded by the Taskforce already set up by the Lagos State Government.”
Sanwo-Olu expressed optimism on the transparent electronic call-up system, saying the move was the beginning of the end of Apapa gridlock.
According to him, the call-up platform would be complemented with virtual dashboards that will be placed in strategic locations around the seaports, where all stakeholders will monitor the scheduling of container movement.
The Governor praised NPA for the innovative approach towards tackling the truck menace around ports, pledging that the State Government would sustain the effort with strict enforcement of traffic regulations along the Apapa corridor.
He said: “This is the beginning of a better journey time for our citizens within the Apapa seaports and environ. This electronic system has limited interface with security operatives and unions, which usually cause the gridlock problem. It will be a simple case of possessing electronic clearance. If you don’t have it, you don’t have any reason to be around the seaports.
“In enforcing the new regulations, we are deploying more than enough towing vehicles to impound erring trucks. The huge amount to be paid as fine for flouting the call-up system will be a deterrent for drivers not to repeat it. The stakeholders need to understand we are serious about ridding Apapa of the menace that has brought pains to our citizens living and doing businesses along the corridor.”
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be deploying 500 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to work collaboratively with NPA and enforce the new call-up regulation, directing the State’s agency not to spare any effort in achieving free flow of traffic in Apapa.
The Governor said the State was working out a collaboration between the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) and NPA to ascertain the roadworthiness of trucks before leaving their stations to the seaports. This, he said, is to check truck accidents on the highways.
Sanwo-Olu said there would be regular review of the call-up system for the sustenance of the progress and optimised performance.
He said: “We can bring back a better living experience for Apapa residents through the new system and have better traffic movement on routes in the area. Lagos Government is fully committed to ensuring all points we have agreed on will be implemented and get all relevant support.”
Ms. Bala Usman said the visit to the State House was to brief the Governor on the status of the electronic call-up platform before it would be fully launched. She said the development underscored NPA’s commitment towards ending the menace of trucks around the seaports.
She said part of the advantages of the new system was the creation of eight approved parks where all trucks must first be stationed before being electronically called into the seaports.
The NPA boss said the electronic system had addressed the excuses usually given by truck drivers for parking their vehicles on the highways, stressing that any truck found around the ports without electronic clearance would be impounded.
She said: “The deadline for the commencement of the electronic call-up system is February 27, 2021 and we are here to strengthen collaboration with the Lagos State Government on implementation and compliance as we commence the process. The new system will be done in collaboration with the State. We have worked seamlessly to ensure Apapa is rid of the menace of trucks.
“All truck owners and stakeholders have been briefed about the new development over the past months. Any truck found in Apapa corridor without call-up clearance will be impounded and Lagos Government will provide the platform with which any fine payment will be collected.”
Ms Bala Usman said the era of individuals depositing empty containers in the seaports was over. She said empty containers must now be deposited with the shipping companies, which are expected to keep the containers in their holding bays at no cost to individuals who own the shipment.
US supports appointment of new service chiefs, affirms close ties with Nigeria
The US Government has endorsed President Buhari’s appointment of ex-military service chiefs.
The United States Government has expressed its support for the recent appointment of military service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The new appointments are expected to bring new approaches to combating terrorism in the northeast and provide national security across the country.
According to a statement signed by the spokesperson for the US Department of States, Ned Price, this disclosure was made by the new US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, during a phone call conversation with Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday, March 1, 2021.
He also acknowledged the threats that violent extremists posed to Nigeria and regional security as a whole.
While highlighting the importance that the United States placed on its relationship with Nigeria, Secretary Blinken outlined a holistic approach to the US-Nigeria partnership based on their shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and robust people-to-people relations.
The statement said that as part of efforts to ensure a good relationship with Nigeria, Blinken referred to President Biden’s revocation of immigrant visa restrictions on Nigeria as an affirmation of the close ties between Americans and Nigerians.
He also reiterated the support of the United States for Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Talking about the conversation with his US counterpart, Geoffrey Onyema expressed his delight at the discussion which covered a broad range of bilateral and multilateral issues.
He said, “Very glad to re-engage, through a very nice phone call with US Secretary of State, Secretary Blinken. We covered a broad range of bilateral and multilateral issues and look forward to increased cooperation.”
On his part, Secretary Blinken said, “Delighted to speak with Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyema. We deeply value our bilateral relationship with Nigeria and look forward to rejuvenating our partnership based on shared values of democracy, respect for human rights, and robust people-to-people relations.”
What this means
This appears to be a renewed partnership and bilateral relationship between the United States and Nigeria, which seemed to have suffered some setbacks during the Trump administration.
This was clearly evident in visa restrictions on Nigeria and the refusal of the last US administration to support the confirmation of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the WTO despite the unanimous support of member states.
Very glad to re-engage, through a very nice phonecall, with US Secretary of State, @SecBlinken. We covered a broad range of bilateral and multilateral issues and look forward to increased cooperation. 🇳🇬🇺🇸 @USinNigeria @StateDept
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) March 1, 2021
US Ambassador opens centre in Lagos, to boost entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youth
US Ambassador to Nigeria has launched a centre where youths can gain entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria on Monday.
The Centre is expected to serve as a community center where young people develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed especially for them.
This was disclosed in a statement shared by Temitayo Famutimi, Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Consulate General and seen by Nairametrics.
According to the statement, the Centre, which was Hosted at the Lekki Slum2School Innovation Hub in Lagos, is as a result of a partnership between the US Consulate General, Lagos and Slum2School Africa, founded by Otto Orondaam, a 2016 alumnus of U.S. government’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The Ambassador noted that the new Window on America is open to everyone in the community, offering its services, programs and resources to the public at no cost.
She said, “We are happy to open the very first Window on America space in Nigeria here in Lekki.
“In the next few months, we will follow with six additional new Windows on America in the south and 12 across the country. We want our Windows on America to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of Nigeria.”
In addition to providing public programming space, the Lekki Window on America will support five core programs: English language learning, educational advising, alumni activities, cultural programs, and information about the U.S.
What you should know
- Visitors to the window will typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organizations, government officials, and community leaders, in addition to many others.
- Windows on America are American spaces that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States, including its government, history, culture, and educational system through programs, lectures, books and electronic resources provided by the U.S. Government.
- In addition to the Lekki Window on America, 12 more will be opened in major cities across the country, including Abeokuta, Awka, Benin City, Enugu, Osogbo, Uyo, Zaria, Minna, Dutse, Makurdi, Gombe and Lafia, in order to engage more Nigerian audiences in their local communities.
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