The Nigerian Vice President and the chairman, Presidential Task Force on Apapa gridlock; Professor Yemi Osinbajo has charged the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to assist the Federal Government in the implementation of the Presidential Order issued to truck drivers to vacate ports’ access roads within 72 hours.
The Vice President gave the charge at a meeting held at the Shippers Council’s Headquarters, in Lagos on Thursday.
The vice president who was represented by Mr. Kayode Opeifa also explained that the task force was set up by the Presidency to proffer lasting solutions to the perennial traffic in Apapa and its environs within two weeks.
According to him, the new directive mandates the immediate removal of all trucks from ports access roads in which the NSC and NPA are key agencies that will assist the realization of the directive, even as he charged them to rally round the task force.
Osibanjo however expressed readiness to engage the law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with the Federal Governments’ directives.
He consequently threatened that, “any truck driver that violates the Presidential’ Order will face the music’’.
Meanwhile the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers Council; Mr. Hassan Bello expressed the agency’s readiness to give the task force the necessary assistance that will aid the realization of their mandates.
Bello, who was represented by the Director, Legal Services of the Council, Mr. Samuel Vongtau, expressed optimism that the aspiration of the committee will address anomalies that characterize Apapa ports’ access roads.
Also speaking, the Director, Inland Transport Services (DITS), Mr. Akintunde Makinde, said the Federal Government has commenced moves to engage rail for the movement of containers to hinterland which will assist to address the port’s congestion.
The meeting was attended by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Government, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and Apapa GRA Residents Association.