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E-call-up: 64,000 trucks fail NPA’s safety standard

Following the deployment of electronic call-up infrastructure, otherwise called Eto, for cargo trucks, 80 per cent or 64,000 out of the 80,000 trucks registered by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have failed to meet minimum safety standards. It was gathered that only 16,000 trucks met the prescribed minimum safety standards mandated by the Authority on the port road. Also, the authority has said that any vessel, which brings 100 containers to the port must take back 80 per cent of the containers.

NPA’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Olaseni Alakija, said in a statement in Lagos that such vessel would not be allowed to sail out of the ports. Also, the Acting Managing Director of the Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said that NPA had discovered that most shipping lines were storing their empty containers in Nigeria, which was cheaper for them.

He noted that NPA had introduced a policy whereby shipping companies should take back 80 per cent of the laden containers they brought into the country from the stock of empties and export cargo. He noted that the decision was to reduce the number of trucks with empty containers waiting on the roads. Five months after assuming office, Koko explained that the incremental deployment of the electronic call-up infrastructure for cargo trucks launched in February, 2021 had to a large extent resolved the endemic Apapa vehicular gridlock.

The managing director, disclosed this at a breakfast programme in Lagos, explained that the Authority was not unmindful of the pains of Apapa residents, noting that what remains was to address the gridlock caused by the failed portion along the Mile 2 – Tin-Can Port road. Bello-Koko stressed that as soon as the entire stretch of the Tin-Can Port highway is completed, the perennial gridlock within Apapa would be completely eliminated. Debunking insinuations that the electronic call up system had been compromised, he explained: “The ‘Eto’ truck booking system was launched in February, and when I assumed office my first act was to carry out a comprehensive review of the system and we directed the system manager to immediately address all areas of deficiencies.

“These infrastructure upgrades coupled with the support of the Lagos State Government and other stakeholders, the vehicular gridlock along the Ijora – Apapa axis had reduced by over 80 percent and am sure residents of Apapa can attest to this.” He further said that the Authority had fully embraced multimodal transportation by encouraging better use of barges and port-rail for the movement of laden and empty containers in and out of the ports, noting that the development had brought significant reduction in the cost of doing business at the ports.

 

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