The Lagos State Government through its newly constituted Traffic Management Enforcement Team to resolve Apapa gridlocks and the Nigerian Port Authority Security Team has identified 7 parks as holding bay for trucks around the metropolis.
This is as they set out to put an end to the indiscriminate parking of trucks and trailers across the bridges and major roads which obstruct the free flow of traffic and cause environmental hazard.
According to a statement signed by the Assistant Director Public Affairs of Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola, in Lagos on Thursday, this disclosure was made by the Chairman of the state team, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka.
He said that both committees are set to collaborate on the issue occasioned by loading trucks and trailers at the port, which had extended to major parts of Lagos.
Fayinka, who is also a Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor, on Transportation, said that the team had been able to design a road map and the strategy to be adopted in tackling the issue.
He said, “We are in discussion with the various stakeholders; the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Terminal Operators and Association of Trucks Union on the best way to do business around Apapa Ports without the breakdown of law and order.
“Part of the discussions held with the Truck Owners Association operating around Apapa was that each company should acquire Park Terminals for their fleets of trucks to serve as holding bay pending when they will be called up for loading.
NPA is already ramping up the Call-Up System that will ensure that trucks that are not yet called for loading do not hang around the ports constituting obstructions to traffic.
“A total of seven parks have been identified for the purpose of holding bay for trucks at various locations around the metropolis. They are at Ojota, Obanikoro, Oregun, Olowotedo-Ibafo, Amuwo-Odofin, Orile-Iganmu and Okorisan-Lekki/Epe. These parks will keep trucks away from the roads until they are called up for loading,” Fayinka said.
Fayinka expressed support for the Nigerian Port Authority’s Call Up System, which he said would greatly help to reduce the traffic gridlock around Apapa.
He said, “Full enforcement will commence soon after due consultation with all stakeholders. The bridges around Apapa corridor which have been turned to parking lots for trucks were not designed to carry the weight of the trailers for a long period of time.
“The heavy-duty trucks being parked along the bridge leading into the ports will damage the bridge over time and cause a collapse which would be catastrophic to the state and its residents.”
A member of the Lagos State Traffic Management Enforcement Team, Mr Shola Giwa, said they need the cooperation of NPA to get rid of stationary vehicles on the bridges and roads within a short period of time.
He also asked the NPA to make the Call-up System accessible to the chairman of the team to enable effective enforcement of the new directives for articulated trucks and tankers.
The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Mr Jide Oduyoye, also a member of the team, charged the NPA to turn away trucks and tankers that were not roadworthy just as he said that a rescue system should be put temporarily put in place, to secure the immediate evacuation of trucks and trailers that break down on major roads.
On his part, the General Manager, Security, NPA, Mr Mohammed Jamil Khalil, assured that the NPA would work together with the state government to proffer both short and long-term solutions to the gridlock around the port axis.
What you should know
- The NPA had launched an Electronic Truck call-up system, Eto, designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos ports. This was designed to end the gridlock in and around the ports, complement the drive for a business-friendly and secure environment for port business in Nigeria.
- During the implementation of the new system, all trucks doing business at the ports will be required to park at the approved truck parks until they are called up into the port through the Eto app.
- Following the exit of the Presidential Task Force on port decongestion, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, set up a Special Traffic Management Team to resolve the traffic gridlock in and around Apapa area.