Comrade Sylvester Keshiro [RTEAN Chieftain]
Comrade Sylvester Keshiro [RTEAN Chieftain]
I would like to say that the Lagos state government and the state House of Assembly are established to represent the interest of the common man in the state. From all indications, it seems that they are only trying to please the Governor‘s administration, because I do not see how such a thing will work. The port, for instance will experience congestion of containers and they said the movement of these trucks will be from 7pm to 6 am when we all know that the street urchins cannot be controlled, in other words it will lead to high rate of robbery on the road at night, containers will be seized and hijacked by these thugs, accident will increase on the Lagos roads, there will be delay in the distributive chain of goods nationwide.
For example, trucks coming from Kaduna, Kano to load containers from the ports and there is restriction of movement then the big question will be what time will they load and when will they carry their goods back to their states? Everybody from the sector should have been carried along to find a way out of the problem on our roads.
Again the bad condition of the roads will even lead to high rate of accident on the roads, because of the pot holes which will be a problem to the truck drivers. Now the port access roads do not have traffic and street lights so that can’t be possible. We expect the concerned authority to call stakeholders, and then brainstorm on how to tackle the problems.
Sheriff Balogun [NURTW Chieftain]
The Lagos state government says they do not want rickety vehicles on the roads and they still insist that all vehicles found on the highway will be seized and crushed. Now they say trucks should ply the roads at night till the early hours of the morning which I will say it’s not friendly to all the transporters in the country, because Lagos is the centre of commercial and industrial activities of the nation’s economy, in which the distribution of goods play a major role. It is easier said than done; let us see how they are going to effect this action.
Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammed [Nat. Sec-Gen, RTEAN]
It is a welcome development and in fact it has been long overdue, because it is a way of sensitizing the drivers on Lagos roads. For now we must all allow that policy to commence, then if there are areas to address or tackle then, there will be room for amendment and adjustment. In my own opinion, the movement of trucks at night will also ease the flow of traffic on the roads. But the government should also have it at the back of their mind that the number of security agencies on the Lagos roads at night should increase because of highway bandits and with such mechanism in place, the truck drivers will appreciate what the state government has done for them. The greatest advantage of this policy is that it will reduce the menace road accident on the roads. It is indeed a very welcome development in Lagos state.
Prince Don Aki [Sole Administrator, IOTA]
I am in total support of the restriction of container trucks on Lagos roads because it is a way to sensitize the drivers of the vehicles. I must say that this policy will bring about orderliness on the movement of such trucks in and out of the state. However I must commend the Lagos state government for the initiative and the truck drivers on their part should be thankful to the State government as well.
Patrick Onyegbule [Terminal Manager, Sapid Agencies]
It is a welcome development and the port is operating on a 24- hour basis and the Inland Container Depots will also add more hands to what they do .Therefore trucks can come into the port and take delivery of consignments but the customs will be on their feet all night, the dockworkers will be affected as well in providing services to ensure that containers leave the terminals at night. The inland container depots will as well suffer from this development because traffic at night may not allow them to move to their destination at the right time and even when they get to the ICD it take another 12 hours before such consignment can get to their final destination. But the menace on the Lagos highway will increase and even traffic from 7p.m to 6a.m will take another dimension too.
Paul Achinike (stakeholder)
It’s a very good development, stopping the movement of trucks from 7p.m to 6a.m is a very good idea, it will reduce the traffic on the roads because these trucks cause lots of traffic and accidents on the road, so, restricting them to this time is a very good development. Presently, from 7p.m downwards there is always less traffic on the road since the traffic is heavier during the day time, so this development will afford the trucks to take advantage of this and move in the night, it’s a welcome development.
Mr. Babatunde Samuel (registrar, POTEMAN)
I think it is worth practicing because it is going to improve the economy of this country vis-à-vis the promotion of strategies of the mega city as planned by the Lagos State Government, it will also bring back the various organizations who are in Apapa but are already leaving as a result of the congestion they have witnessed over the years, this will automatically translate into economic development because all of them will now have to come back and continue to pay their respective taxes either to the Lagos State Government or to the Federal Government of Nigeria. In addition to this, it will also lead to structural development that the Apapa axis require to be able to transform into a modern port city as we have in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and so on. I don’t think this plan will have any side effect; because for example, there is a plan by the Lagos State Government in conjunction with a consultant to introduce e-tag movement, this is to regulate, control and manage the movement of trucks in and out of Lagos. For example, if it is 200 containers that needs to be moved out of the port, it is only 200 trucks that will move into the port, pick their consignment and leave the port, in order words there will be a rotation on daily basis and a check list of the various trucks that will go into the port and come out.
Aare Sanni Shittu (Vice chair, ANLCA, BoT)
It is not a welcomed development because it will affect the economic life of Nigerians negatively, the rate at which consignments get to their owners will be delayed and this will translate into confusion in the market, apart from this, it will also lead to port congestion inside the port because cargoes that ought to move out of the port will not be able to do so as at when due. I will suggest that the lawmakers give the bill a review before it is eventually passed into law.
Mr. Chris Osunkwo (PRO, Tin Can Customs)
There are so many challenges and risk in container trucks moving during the day, the order is very clear, the government is saying that as from 7pm to 6 am, empty containers are allowed to move, what this means is that if you go to point ‘A’ to discharge, you must remain there until 7p.m, then you leave point ‘A’ straight to the port. Another thing that is to be done is that these shipping companies must be made to obey set rules, there must be an enforcement of the law on the shipping companies, they must not be given any chance to have a choice, they must obey this directive, because any law that lacks a good machinery for its enforcement is no law, it is as good as not existing. It is not just to talk about proposing the law, most of the traffic jam we fight during the day are caused by these trucks and petroleum tanker drivers, so if the law does not include the petroleum tankers it them means that it is being specific and this calls for amendment, there was a time that this law was in operation and these trucks were not allowed to move during the day, when they are coming they pack at Shagamu and Ijebu-Ode, in the night, they now start coming. The shipping companies should provide holding bays, they should buy land and build holding bays so that when a ship comes in and is not ready to take away empty containers, they should keep the containers somewhere so that when the ship is ready to sail, they pack the containers, by this the truck driver will not waste any time.