Clearing agents and truck drivers have identified epileptic internet services on the part of the handlers of the eto app for the Truck Transit Park (TTP) as well as illiteracy on the part of truck drivers as some of the major problems confronting the trucks electronic call up system of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA).
Even though residents and workers in Apapa celebrated the take-off of the e- call up and the return of sanity to the environment of the port city, their jubilation appeared to be short-lived as traffic has begun to build-up in the adjoining roads and the bridges that lead to the two ports of Apapa and Tin Can.
Contrary to expectation of a free flow of traffic following the commencement of electronic call-up system, the Mile 2 end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway has been on a near-total lockdown as fuel tankers and containerised vehicles parked indiscriminately along the road, in defiance of the new traffic management system.
But, speaking on why the traffic gridlock seems to be returning to Apapa despite the e- call up system, clearing agents and truck owners who spoke to our correspondent raised concerns over the incessant network failure of the Truck Transit Park (TTP) and inadequate knowledge of how to use the eto app by the truck drivers.
Vice-Chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners, Dry Cargo section, Abdullahi Inuwa, explained that some trucks were on the road because they did not register on time for the electronic call-up system.
He said, “Due to the ongoing construction along the Tin Can port, the construction firm barricaded the area and did not allow trucks to pass before the commencement of the electronic call-up system. This affected some truckers that were on the road and could not pass due to the development.
Alhaji Inuwa added that illiteracy on the part of the truck drivers is one of the factors inhibiting the e- call up system, he informed that many of the truck drivers are not enlightened as to how to use the app which has created bottlenecks for the truck drivers in accessing the TTP.
He said: “One of the factors inhibiting the e- call up is that some of the truckers don’t have the knowledge of operating the e- call up, but for our association (NARTO) we are trying to see how we can coordinate them in other not to fall victims to those who will extort them, we are trying to coordinate them to see how they can key in into programme. So illiteracy is an issue, however we should not forget that this project is barely one week, but let’s be optimistic that with the way and manner the management is handling this we should not lose hope, there is hope in sight and we believe the e- call up will work”, he said.
Also speaking to our correspondent one of the owners of the eight approved garages and the financial secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Hajia Bola Muse noted that indeed there are logistics hitches that have to with network failure, she however stated that the e- call up is the best thing that has happened to the Nigeria port environment.
“Not as though there are problems, but you know in Nigeria whenever we have a new system there will always be some hitches, but as far as I am concerned, the e-call up is the best thing that has happened to us, the only problem now are logistic issues that have to do with network problem, but I believe they will resolve that soonest”, she said.
On his part the Director General of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Segun Ajayi Kadiri noted that despite the hitches currently experienced, the e- call up if well-handled will resolve the Apapa gridlock, even as he urged NPA to be battle-ready for whatever challenges that come.
Meanwhile, the leader of Lagos State Special Traffic Management Team; Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, said the government was not unaware of the situation along Oshodi Apapa Expressway but has been moving gradually to ease traffic on the axis.
Fayinka said: “Our enforcement strategy is gradual. We have been cleaning up the other side of the axis at Area B, Ijora into the Nigerian Ports Authority. “We are moving-in gradually to other areas for clean-up which include Mile 2 end and environs.