APAPA GRIDLOCK: E-CALL UP SYSTEM AND ALLEGED EXTORTION PROBE
Perplexed by the Apapa girdlock in Lagos state, the Senate yesterday has promised to probe the process of the electronic Call-up system of allowing trucks into the terminal and extortion allegations levied on port officials.
The Senate urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, collaborate with the Lagos State Government to ensure that tank farms are relocated to other areas.
It also asked private terminal operators to explore water transport as an option in the movement of containers, just as it urged the Federal Ministry of Works to commence the reconstruction and repair of all access roads to seaports, namely Apapa Creek road, Apapa Oshodi Expressway and Tincan Island.
Presenting the motion, Senator Tinubu said: “The Senate notes with great displeasure the gridlock which has persisted on access roads to Apapa Seaport in Lagos and has, for many years, been a source of heartache for individuals and businesses plying the road.
Senate is also aware that the gridlock has persisted due to the terrible condition of Apapa port, the concentration of Tank Farms in the area, indiscriminate parking of petroleum tankers and trailers wanting to load petroleum products from the tank farms and the racket created by persons benefiting from the chaotic situation.“The Senate notes that this gridlock has increased the cost of doing business encourage illegalities and stiffen ports activities with its attendant negative impact on government’s revenue projections.
The Senate is also worried that due to the deplorable state of the roads, and the number of trucks and containers on the road, there have been several cases of containers falling on smaller vehicles, killing innocent citizens while goods worth millions of Naira are also destroyed or stolen in these accidents. “Senate decries the poor quality of port access roads, complex ports procedures and ineffective truck call up system among other factors contributing to delays, inefficiencies and gridlock in Apapa with a huge cost to Nigeria’s economy.
The Senate further notes that only recently, following allegations of extortion by security operatives posted to the area, the Presidential Task Force handed over the reins of managing the traffic situation to the Lagos State Government which in turn set up the Apapa Special Traffic Management.
“The Senate observes that the NPA recently introduced the electronic Call-Up system for admitting trucks into the terminal and to control the movement of trucks in and out of Lagos Seaports’’.
SOURCE: VANGUARD NEWS