The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has assured port users of the authority’s commitment to speedily resolve all teething challenges against the smooth implementation of the electronic call-up system for trucks doing business at the port.
Bello-Koko made the pledge while interacting with truck owners and drivers during his visit to the Lilypond Terminal in Ijora yesterday for a firsthand assessment of the IT physical infrastructure built for the call-up system, which is domiciled in the terminal.
The visit, according to the Acting Managing Director, is to enable him to re-evaluate the performance of the truck call-up system three months after it was deployed, and also engage directly with the service users to appreciate their concerns and those bottlenecks arising from their subscription to the traffic management platform.
Bello-Koko said all teething issues arising from the truck call-up system will be addressed progressively, stressing that both the online scheduling process and truck transit arrangement would be fine-tuned to check against manipulation and other related irregularities.
The NPA Boss explained: “we will ensure that the entire process is fully automated and secured to prevent counterfeiting, while priority will be given to export cargoes in line with the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government.”
Furthermore, Bello Koko told stakeholders that the NPA Management is poised to sustain the implementation of the minimum standard of trucks operating in the ports with the view to assuring that standard operating procedure (SOP) is imbibed at all times, pointing out that trucks that fail to meet with expectations would not be allowed onto the “Eto” app.
He called on the ports community to collaborate with the efforts of the NPA Management in order that the sector operates in tandem with International best practices.
According to him, “Eto” has come to stay, we shall together ensure its workability”, the economy being better for it.
The NPA Chief Executive appreciated the Lagos State Government for the collaborative synergy and their role in enforcement.
Speaking on behalf of haulage operators doing business at the port, President of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, expressed his delight with the unannounced visit of the Acting Managing Director.
He described the visit as a demonstration of the NPA’s helmsman appreciation that the truck call-up system is a priority.
“We are very happy with your visit, it shows clearly that you a listening and focused leader, who is prepared to tackle the critical issues affecting port business in our country.
“We will work with you as the success of NPA is our success as well. We commend the Authority for giving us this call-up system, however, the story so far has not been enjoyable, we’re hopeful that things will improve very soon”, Ogungbemi said.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority on February 27th, 2021, rolled out an electronic call-up system for trucks dubbed “Eto”, to address the intractable traffic gridlock along the access roads leading to the two major seaports in the Lagos area.
The visit to Lilypond Terminal by the Acting Managing Director, his first since he assumed office on May 6th, 2021, is to enable him to assess the quality of equipment so far deployed and identify the necessary measures required so that the system can be made to achieve its intended objective.