The Presidential Task Team on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa (PTT-RLO) has asserted that efficient and effective truck parks remain the viable solution to the indiscriminate truck parking and traffic gridlock on port access roads in Lagos.
The team however called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council to ensure that the designated truck parks come to life.
Comrade Kayode Opeifa, Executive Vice Chairman, PTT-RLO, made the assertion while x-raying the activities of the team since its inauguration in 2019 towards traffic control and indiscriminate parking on the roads leading to the nation’s seaports in Apapa at a recent forum on traffic management in Apapa.
‘’NPA and Nigerian Shippers Council have to institutionalize the operations of the nominated truck parks as it remains one of our treasured opportunities for effective control of indiscriminate stationary trucks on our roads,’’ said Opeifa.
He maintained that the team has worked tenaciously to achieve the mandate given to it by the Federal Government despite a lot of opposition and confrontation from stakeholders. According to him, the mandate include: remove extortionist and illegal traffic control groups around Port operations, development of an efficient and effective traffic management plan.
Opeifa noted that empty containers contribute to heavy traffic on port access roads and called on NPA for quick implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, saying that the document is germane to the current traffic situation.
‘’The PTT worked with NPA to review and streamline the document with existing realities and global best practices. We await NPA management approval and release of the reviewed document for deployment as this is basically a port operation but with national interest. In fact, it is one of the main issues at the heart of the current situation,’’ he noted.
Opeifa informed that extortion and operations of various illegal traffic control groups around port operations have drastically reduced and stopped as the Navy and other security agencies like military had since returned to their based in compliance with the directive of the government stopping them from participating in the traffic control.
Opeifa who condemned of activities some truck and freight forwarders associations for berating work of the team thanked many organizations for their support, charging them to preserve the achievements of the team.
‘’Government and all major stakeholders must take tough decision to preserve the successes of the current effort pending the deployment of other more enduring solutions as currently on going (Rail Projects, Deep sea Ports, Dry/Inland Sea Ports, PEBEC-Ease of doing business reforms, introduction of Electronic call up systems, efficient and effective 24hr operation of Lilypond and Tin Can Island Truck Transit Parks, introduction of Single Window System, Introduction of Electronic scanners among others),’’ said he.