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NPA worries as Apapa gridlock remains 10 years on

Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the traffic gridlock on the Apapa roads has defied solutions for over 10 years because of human interference. The acting Managing Director of NPA, Alhaji Mohammed Bello-Koko, said in Lagos that the gridlock had constituted a major headache to government and port users. He blamed manual manifest and call up system inefficiencies on human interference within the port roads. Also, Bello-Koko complained of multiple checkpoints on the port roads, which the Authority had tried to reduce, saying that extortions had been creating a lot of traffic.

He said that NPA had met with stakeholders and agreed that any truck park that failed to install CCTV, proper convenience for vehicle owners and drivers and automated gate system should be delisted. The managing director stressed that the routes had been persistently chaotic with the heavy gridlock spanning several kilometres across Lagos. Bello-Koko, who said that NPA’s priority was export cargoes, explained that the major challenge for him was how to solve the gridlock. He noted: “One of the first executive actions I took when I was appointed was to visit the Tin can Apapa corridor to ensure that the right things are done and the right infrastructure is deployed.

We are getting there gradually. We have put in measures to minimise the congestion in and around the port. “We have brought in ETO (electronic call-up system) to ensure smooth inward and outward movement of cargo from the port. The company, TTP, was given Lilly ponds on when they should operate. The idea was to ensure that all trucks coming in are supposed to move from trailers parks to Lillyponds, then to the port. “They were supposed to have deployed some physical and electronic infrastructure, but that was not done. When I was appointed, I gave them ultimatum to ensure that those items are installed as quickly as possible.”

He recalled that ETO was 90 days old when he resumed as acting managing director of the Authority, saing that the management had analysed what had been achieved and identified the gaps. Bello-Koko stressed that NPA had liaised with the Lagos State government to ensure that the right security operatives were on the ground for enforcement.

He said: “Because of our intense focus, there is already some improvement. There is a better flow of traffic. But let me finally say that the major hindrance to ETO is the road, because the Tin Can corridor is bad. We have had discussions with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that the construction company deploy its gadgets to start construction around that area.”

 

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