L-R: Vice Chairman, Presidential Task Team on Restoration of Law and order in Apapa, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Presidential Task Team, Bayo Sulaiman, during a visit to Lillypond Truck Holding Bay last Friday
The Presidential Task Team in charge of ensuring that the two approaches into Lagos ports are free of debilitating traffic has disclosed that not less than120 trucks have been apprehended so far, for non- compliance to the Federal Government directive.
The directive was that all trucks must vacate the two approaches to the ports and use the Lillypond terminal that is serving as holding bay for containerized trucks and the focal point of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) manual call up system.
Speaking during a press briefing by the Presidential task team over the weekend, the General Manager Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Mr. Olawale Musa, who is also a member of the team, said the trucks were arrested due to non-compliance on the part of the drivers.
He said that the number of trucks that were seized would have been more if the task team had not been lenient.
“The number (of apprehended trucks) is 120 because we were a bit lenient with them, if we were to go fully, we will arrest more, but with that we are not resting on our oars; we will ensure that the directive is duly complied with by the truckers”, he assured.
“We have been able to clear under the bridge, when you go there now, you will discover that the place is free of truckers”, he added.
Speaking earlier the Executive Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee; Mr Kayode Opeifa commended Shipping Position Daily for a well-detailed report on the efforts of the Presidential task team in getting trucks drivers to comply with the Presidential directive; he said so far we are happy that extortion of trucks drivers is now becoming a thing of the past.
Recall that Shipping Position Daily had reported on Friday, last week that extortion of trucks drivers by the Navy and other military formations around the Apapa port axis has reduced, thereby bringing about the restoration currently been experienced around the Apapa wharf road.
Opeifa urged freight forwarders and truckers’ unions to direct their trucks and drivers to the approved private parks for a call-up to the ports via Lillypond Truck Terminal, adding that this would further help in reducing the presence of trucks on the road and on the bridges
According to him “the rehabilitation of the in-bound lane from Berger Suya and the entire Apapa axis has begun in other to pave the way for complete palliative of major sections of the out-bound lane.
“Also the clearing and removal of trucks and articulated vehicles from many of the affected highways – Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Eric Moore, Iganmu area, Eko Bridge, Apongbon, Ijora up to Sifax and Lagos Waterworks was successful”
“We are restoring orderliness from Marina Bridge to Port gate via Wharf road with manageable truck movement which we are working to remove in the next few days
“We are working to perfect the use of Lillypond terminal to serve as holding bay for empty containers return trucks and the focal point of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Manual Call up system, despite its inadequacy to operate 24 hours due to non-availability of security and flood lightings”, he said.
Speaking also the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) Mr. Hassan Bello who played host to the Presidential task team, gave kudos to the Chairman of the team; the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the Vice Chairman Mr. Kayode Opeifa for the good job being done, he hinted that the council is developing a sustainable system that will ensure that orderliness is restored back to the port thereby making ease of doing business effective.
He informed that that Federal Government is working on linking all ports including the dry port by rail.
“The Federal Government is already working on linking all ports including the Tin can port and the dry ports by rail and in no time, we will have movement of cargo by rail, already we are developing a sustainable system that will go on forever” ,he assured.