*NPA boss admits failure
- Alleges sabotage by NPA staff, others
*At night, Military men escort vehicles which is sabotage – Bello Koko alleges
(Report by Udeme Clement):
The Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Muhammed Bello Koko, said the electronic call-up system put in place by the Authority, to tackle chaotic traffic gridlock on Apapa ports access roads has failed.
The Acting NPA boss admitted openly the failure of E-call-up system, even as he alleged internal sabotage by NPA staff and other stakeholders.
The Acting NPA boss disclosed this on Sunday while speaking on intractable problems on ports access roads.
Mr. Bello Koko, also declared that the perennial traffic gridlock on ports access roads taking its toll on port operations and businesses within Apapa axis, has defied all solutions.
His words: “For more than 10 years now, the Apapa traffic gridlock has defied all solutions.
The call-up system was 90 days old when I assumed duties as Acting Managing Director of NPA, but the problem has persisted.”
He alleged: “There are also saboteurs among our staff. We had to issue queries to NPA staff involved and we are taking action.
We have even sent some home to allow for proper investigation, while others have been queried and some moved across ports.
“We have made it clear that we shall not tolerate saboteurs in the system, no matter where they are coming from”.
The declaration by NPA Acting MD,, is a clear indication that the Authority, which has the primary responsibility of handling such issues at the ports access roads lacks the capacity, as well as expertise to tackle the problem.
More so, it is indeed revealing to hear that NPA staff, an agency of the Federal Government, saddled with the responsibility of managing the ports access roads, which is the gateway to the nation’s economy, are the same people sabotaging the system, and working against government efforts to grow the economy.
Though, the Acting NPA MD, has not disclosed the real identity of his staff sabotaging government policies, this weighty allegation coming from the MD himself must not be treated with levity.
Those involved in this level of economic sabotage, especially at a time government is putting measures in place to rejuvenate the economy for greater prosperity must be made to face the wrath of the law, to serve as deterrent to others.
Also, since NPA is overwhelmed, it will be appropriate for other
organisations that have the expertise, to assist in controlling the chaotic traffic gridlock around Apapa ports access roads.
Recall that the E-call-up system was introduced by NPA precisely in February 27th, 2021, to tackle Apapa gridlock, which has become like a hydra-headed monster.
Unfortunately, five months after, the system has failed to curb the menace, even as the system suffered total collapse, going by the declaration of the new Acting NPA boss.
Thus, this is the first time, NPA management has openly acknowledged failure of the E-call-up system, since it was introduced, despite criticisms from various quarters on the failure of the system.
He pointed out:
“At NPA, we believe priority should be given to export cargo but the major challenge to me is how to solve the gridlock in Apapa.
“When I was appointed, the first thing I did was to visit TinCan Apapa.
That corridor is bad. We had discussion with Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that the construction company starts work around that area.
“There are issues of multiple check-points, which we tried to reduce, because it gives room for extortions and traffic.
Another issue is the stakeholders themselves. They need to buy into this concept.
I keep saying that the worst of E-call-up, is better than the best of the last system that we used
“We observed interference by government agencies and the stakeholders themselves.
Rather than pay the call-up ticket, they find a way to bring in military men. You find out that at night, military men escort vehicles which is sabotage.
The stakeholders themselves need to buy into the system.”