Rotimi Amechi

Trucks Are Sneaking Back On Highways, Says NSE

…Tasks Lagos Govt, NPA On Sustaining E-call Up Enforcement

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has appealed to the Lagos State Government and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to sustain enforcement of the new Electronic Call-Up System for trucks, to avert gridlocks.

Recall that Lagos State, NPA and relevant stakeholders adopted the new electronic call-up system for trucks, and enforcement began on Feb. 27.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Christian Ufot, Apapa NSE Branch Chairman specifically noted that trucks which were evacuated in the first week of enforcement were gradually returning to highways.

Ufot urged the state government to remain resilient in enforcement, to sustain the sanity achieved on major roads into the nation’s leading ports in Nigeria and prevent return of trucks blocking highways.

He, therefore, urged the NPA to be consistent in its implementation of the electronic call up system to prevent conflict.

Ufot said that the NSE arm prided itself as “The Golden Branch’’ by virtue of its location, noting that, its recommendations for addressing gridlock on the axis were instrumental to the current success story.

“One of the solutions that we proffered is the call-up system which the NPA has already adopted in their relationship with the Lagos State government.

“You can see in the last two to three weeks, traffic flow from Mile 2 in and out of Apapa has been better than what it used to because of the introduction of the new call-up system.

“So, we are expecting that if the implementation is sustained, there may be a lot of improvement in traffic flow within Apapa axis.

“The Lagos State government has a duty to maintaining the regulations that they have imposed. As a state government, if that enforcement is not there, the truck owners and operators will continually default.

“We are calling for continuous enforcement; if you noticed, in the first week of enforcement, everywhere was cleared, but it seems in the second week there was relaxation, you can see this morning, if you go from Mile 2 trailers are already building up again.

“We need the Lagos State government to pay more attention to enforcement.

“As a branch, we will continue to advocate and follow up with the establishments concerned,’’ he said.

Speaking on expected role of the NPA, he appealed that there should be one rule on the electronic call up for all and there should not be compromise to sustain efficiency.

Adding voice to the issue, a past Chairman of the Branch, Dr Ombugadu Garba, appealed to the Lagos State government to evolve policies that would create investment opportunities for private sector constructing holding bays.

Garba called for evacuation of unauthorised trucks from the highways.

“There is need to have designated areas where all these trucks that are defaulters can be moved to,’’ he said.

Garba said that a major requirement for owning shipping companies was having a holding bay and urged the Shippers Council to rise to the occasion to ensure things were done right.

The former chairman called for revocation of licences of shipping companies that do not have space for their trucks or containers.

He commended the NPA for insisting that responsibility of containers returning to the ports rested on the shoulders of shippers, which would reduce congestion.

Garba also urged NPA to sanction terminal operators who defaulted in the call-up system, for sanity.


Post Author: Friday Ekeoba