The Presidential Task Team has declared that it has restored normalcy as well as put an end to the problem of extortion which has been a major complaint of the truckers.
The Task Team was set up by the Federal Government and headed by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to clear the gridlock of trucks in Apapa, Ikorodu Road, adjoining bridges and other areas.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Task Team, Comrade Kayode Opeifa made the clarification in a Press chat at Rockview in Apapa, Lagos after tour of Lagos seaports Access road from, Lillypond in Ijora to Tin Can Port .
He noted that the fact that trucks are seeing passing through some of these roads that have been cleared of the gridlock or in Apapa should not be taken that there is still congestion in these places, pointing out that if the Port roads are entirely devoid of trucks, it then means that there is recession in the economy.
‘’Now you will no longer see an queues of articulated vehicles blocking the roads and the bridges and making it impossible for other Nigerians to pass with their own small vehicles because apart from the fact that those ones constituting nuisance before have been removed provisions have been made to ensure they don’t return and occupy the places,’’ said Opeifa.
He stated that the truckers had complained seriously of being extorted in the past but pointed out that the current Presidential Task Team has however put measures in place which have stopped any form of extortion of the truckers while it is confident that the vice would not re-occur even after the Team must have left.
Opeifa had earlier said that the Nigerian Ports Authority has been able to secure the release of the Lillypond Terminal which he said can take 300 trucks for use as a holding bay as directed by the Federal Government adding that Tin Can Island Truck Park which can accommodate about 1,000 trucks has also been made ready for use.
According to him, the trucks are to be called into the Ports, Tin Can and Apapa from the two parks and wherever they are to load cargoes when it is their turn under the NPA manual Call up system even as Bello disclosed that four other private parks have been identified by the Shippers’ Council for use as holding bays.
Opeifa said that all the contracts for the repairs of all the bad roads, namely Creek Road, Wharf Road , Apapa Oshodi Expressway that are worsening the congestion have already been awarded by the Government adding that while work is ongoing on them , the contractor in charge of the Apapa Oshodi Express was to mobilize to site by yesterday because trucks have been occupying the place.
Opeifa informed that the Task Team has engaged with all the relevant stakeholders as well as delivered on its mandate which include the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system as well as the implementation of a workable empty container return and export container truck handling policy.