Apapa Traffic Gridlock Continues Inspite of NPA E-Call Up System
(Written by Asuquo Nuwak)
Few days after the formal take-off of NPA E-Call- up System on 27th February 2021, trucks have returned to Apapa ports access roads.
When our correspondent monitored activities within Apapa ports axis to see the level of compliance, the were long queues on the roads.
Also, motorists were stuck in traffic for hours due to indiscriminate parking by tankers and truck drivers.
Recall that Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State, on Transportation had earlier declared to stakeholders including freight forwarders and truck owners before the commencement of the NPA E-Call-up system that any truck not in the call-up lists generated by NPA would be impounded.
However, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, in his reaction to the Special Traffic Management Enforcement Team, created by Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu to resolve perennial traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environment, said truck owners do not need assistance of task force to resolve Apapa gridlock.
He noted that similar arrangement had failed to resolve the problem of Apapa traffic in the past.
According to him, truck owners had enough of task force arrangements, which failed in the past. Instead, the task force officials inflict pains on truckers.
Arising from the above reasons, the truckers are opposed to introduction of police and task force for manual control of traffic on the roads leading to the ports.
He alleged how Presidential Task Team inaugurated in the past to control traffic in Apapa and Tincan led to bribery and extortion of truckers by cabals in collaboration with security operatives, who later created more problems to traffic situation in Apapa and Tincan port access roads.
He said that the solution to Apapa traffic does not need deployment of police and military, but a simple technological automation truck call- up system, which can admit trucks into the ports, petroleum tank farms, depots and factories without truck blocking the roads and bridges.
“For trucks to have seamless admission into the ports without blockage, truck owners recommended the use of Truck Scheduler System, known as technological automation truck call-up system, to ensure that all trucks leave the roads and bridges to their private garage while terminal operators and NPA decides and approves which container is set for loading, or which truck is to leave holding bays, in order to load at the ports, depots and factories through the truck call-up system.
“Under this arrangement, trucks are allocated with approved tags by the technological automation system, such that only trucks with approved tags are allowed to move on ports access roads without blocking the bridges and ports access roads, as against manual system of converting roadsides to truck park, where trucks are parked”, he said.
Managers of the Truck Transit Parks, which NPA appointed in an effort to find lasting solution to traffic congestion in port access roads told our correspondent that truck owners are expected to pay for the use of the truck parks, while critical stakeholders expressed different views over payment of N10.000.
Specifically, Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa, a truck owner, in his response, said, “the sum of N10.000 for truck parking is too high compared to other private garages where N2.000 to N3.000 is collected”.
He therefore recommended payment of N5.000 for truck parking.