…NPA collaborates with LASG on enforcement
As the electronic truck call-up (ETO) system in the management of movement of trucks into and out of the Lagos ports took off yesterday, indication was that the days of the notorious Apapa traffic girdlock are numbered. This came as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has disclosed that the government of Lagos State has has expressed it readiness to provide enforcement backup for the success of the technology based truck traffic control system.
Speaking in pre-launch virtual press conference during the week, Ms Bala Usman disclosed that no fewer than eight truck parks have been licensed by the Ports Authority as a holding bay for the trucks from where they will be called via the ETO platform. She disclosed that no will ever be able to access the ports again it is called on ETO platform.
“The era of trucks parking along the ports access roads is gone forever. Any truck found on the ports access road or tries to access the ports when it has not been called, will be arrested and the owner will pay some fine before it will be released to him.
She said: “As part of efforts aimed at finding a permanent solution to the problem of truck congestion around Apapa and its environs, the authority is pleased to announce the commencement of the electronic truck call-up system, designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos ports. 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 application.
The ETO application will be responsible for the scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks into the ports with effect from February27, 2021,” she said. Ms Bala Usman revealed that the electronic call-up system, which will address the men-
ace of truck congestion around Apapa and its environs, is coming after several months of planning, trial and retrial. Besides, the introduction of the ETO, she said, will remove the human interference in the process, thereby eradicating the issue of extortion which was a major concern during the previous initiative at ridding the port axis of gridlock.
The managing director further noted that going forward, empty containers can only be returned to the ports through the approved holding bays of shipping companies using the ETO Platform. She was emphatic that it is the responsibility of the shipping company to move empty containers from their holding bay to the Port.
“All cargo owners have to do is drop their empty containers at the holding bay of the shipping company.
The shipping company will then make the necessary bookings on the ETO platform to return empty containers to the Port. This is why 60 percent of the holding bay’s capacity must be dedicated to storing empty containers,” she further said, warning that non-compliance to the use of ETO and its guidelines, will result in denial of access into the Ports, impounding of trucks and withdrawal of registration/operating license.
The NPA solicited the cooperation of transporters, truck drivers, cargo owners, clearing agents shipping companies and all port users in the implementation of the initiative, which it promised will bring order and sanity to the ports access roads.
Already, the Lagos State Government and the leadership of the NPA have vowed to impound vehicles parked along the port corridors as part of measures to ensure the success of the ETO and ending of the gridlocks in Apapa.
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.