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Gradual disappearance of gridlock halts extortion



Extortion by security operatives has been reduced as the Presidential taskforce in charge of traffic at the Apapa port axis achieved 95 per cent of its task.

The taskforce was set up as a result of a presidential directive, which ordered the removal of trucks on bridges and roads in Apapa as well as the restoration of law and order on the port roads.

The Vice President of National Association of Roads Transport Owners (NARTO), Dry Cargo section, Mr Abdullahi Mohammed, who disclosed this, said that truckers had stopped paying between N60, 000 and N70, 000 to security operatives.

He said: “We have stopped paying money for parking space. You know before now, truck drivers pay as much as N60,000 to N70,000 to the Navy and other military formations just to gain entrance into the port. Whenever we get the information of those who are extorting the drivers, we will call the attention of the presidential task team who will go and dislodge them.”

The Vice Chairman of the task force, Kayode Opeifa, said in Lagos that the task given to the committee by the Presidency was 95 per cent completed.

Opeifa noted that the task force had also restored normalcy to the port roads by removing trucks that blocked the access roads.

According to him, vehicular movement in and out of Apapa had also been restored with the evacuation of trucks from the bridges.

He stressed that the general problem around Apapa would disappear in a matter of days because of the new strategy put in place by the taskforce.

Opeifa stressed that all trucks carrying empty containers into Apapa from Costain were being directed into Lillypond terminal from Ijora.

He explained that the truck were expected to exit the terminal with their manual call-up cards by driving under the bridge and heading towards Leventis Motors to access the port gate from Airways.

The vice chairman added that the manual call-up system was designed as an immediate solution that the ultimate aim was to achieve an electronic call-up system.

“The electronic call-up system is being designed by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and it will be functional as from August 2019,” he said.

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