27 May 2019

Nigeria: Truck Owners Hail Removal of Navy, Others From Controlling Apapa Traffic

Truck owners have lauded the Federal Government's withdrawal of the Naval and other military formations from controlling traffic at the Apapa Port.

Lagos State Vice President, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) Dry Cargo Sector, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammad-Inunwa, gave the commendation yesterday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Mohammad-Inunwa, who stated that the inclusion of the security agencies in the task force had compounded the gridlock in and around the port, said: "When President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lagos during his electioneering, the trucks were cleared off the roads within hours.

"The public then asked what magic was performed by us to achieve it.

"But there was no other magic that we performed than synergising with the Nigeria Ports Authority's Task Force Chairman, Commodore Eyo and the Council of Maritime Transport Union Association (COMTUA).

"We had meetings with NPA where we jointly agreed on modalities to apply.

"The NPA team then promised to introduce truck manual call-up scheme."

Mohammad-Inunwa also attributed the gridlock the failure of some shipping companies to provide truck bays as stipulated in their agreement with the government.

Meanwhile, following the presidential order on the evacuation of trucks on Apapa Port access roads, the Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association (NECA) has said that stringent actions must be enforced to ease clearing of goods at the nation's seaports.

The group, which noted that resolving this mafia-like challenge will go a long way in returning Nigeria to the path of economic growth, urged that efforts to build alternative truck parks and reconstruction of the deplorable road networks should be fast-tracked.

Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawale, who commended the Federal Government on the move, implored Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to bring his commitment to bear on the Apapa gridlock conundrum.

He said that the presidential order, coming at this period, was overdue, regardless of several efforts by the three tiers of government to tackle the menace.

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