- NPA needs support for E-Call-up system to function effectively- Says Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko
(Report by Udeme Clement):
The National Coordinator of NAGAFF 100 percent Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, has said that the way out of the chaotic traffic situation on Apapa ports access roads is effective implementation of the Electronic Call-up system introduced by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Speaking with our Correspondent, Alhaji Tanko, stressed that NPA needs support and total cooperation from all port users and traffic managers for the system to function effectively.
He advised that the Communique issued with all recommendations made at the just concluded Maritime Summit, organised by Maritime Journalists Associations of Nigeria (MAJAN), on Wednesday April 14, 2021 at Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, be sent to all agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of controlling traffic along ports access roads.
His words : “The issue of this traffic gridlock is lingering for too long. We started from the Nigerian Navy to Presidential Task force, and now to other departments of government, yet the problem persists.
“It means some people are making money from it. There is serious sabotage in the system, that is why it seems as if the problem has defied all solutions.
Infact, aside from internal sabotage on the part of officials,
there are several dimensions to this traffic gridlock. Even miscreants also create artificial road blocks along Apapa axis and collect money from truck drivers. For instance, some miscreants around TinCan ports have mounted a road block and are collecting between N100 and N200 from every truck passing through TinCan port axis.
You can see the level of corruption in the system. This is unregistered group taking laws into their hands. So, we have a lot of work to do, if we must tackle the problem holistically.”
Speaking further, Alhaji Tanko, who is also a freight forwarder and employer of labour in the maritime sector alleged that the E-Call-up system has been hacked by some individuals who are already printing fake tickets privately.
On the way forward: He said; “We expect NPA to work hard and increase its man-power to check fraud in the system. You see, we, the freight forwarders brought the concept of E-Call-up system. We demonstrated it before NPA, because we didn’t have the capacity to run the system, we expected that NPA which has the capacity would run the system smoothly.
“The reality is that the Managing Director of NPA is doing her best to remedy the situation at the moment but she must not relent. NPA should move ahead of the saboteurs to thwart their nefarious activities and must not go to sleep.
“The Authority should ensure 24 hours monitoring of the system from all directions. Also, there should be monitoring devices at all approved truck parks as well.
There is also need for Lagos State government to give sufficient support in tackling the menace.
“I am also advising the Authority to sensitise truck drivers because some of them are not educated and may not even understand the system. For example, drivers who cannot read and write may not understand when Call-up messages have been sent for them to access the ports.
“Also, the trucks should be in good shape. The world is going digital in port operations and Nigeria must not be left behind. Ports economic regulators should ensure shipping companies have functional holding bays for empty containers.”
In the same vein, Alhaji Tanko commended MAJAN for its commitment and sustained advocacy in finding lasting solution to the lingering traffic gridlock at Apapa.
Alhaji Tanko, also said that he is scoring MAJAN high on the just concluded Maritime Summit, organised by the Group on Apapa traffic gridlock.
He enthused :. “I am highly impressed that you Journalists are doing so much to support government in tackling the chaotic traffic situation. Your efforts are highly acknowledged.”