Presidential Task Force Issues Operational Guidelines On Apapa Gridlock

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The Presidential Task Force on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa Ports Area, in Lagos, has unveiled its operational guidelines.

The guidelines as contained in a paper made available to stakeholders at a meeting held in Lagos, recently, stipulates continuous stakeholders’ engagement as one of the critical strategies.

Others are the deployment of effective and efficient traffic management system for the control of cargo and fuel distributions and business district traffic within the entire Port Area, the use of Dedicated Truck Parks at NPA Lilypond Terminal as temporary holding bays and the deployment of a revised effective Empty Container Return Management Policy.

Additionally, the provision and strict adherence to a newly developed NPA Standard Operating Procedures on Port Truck Clearance Procedures incorporating the temporary manual call-up system for empty containers, export containers and other port truck operations and vehicular movements are included in the operational guidelines.

The Vice-Chairman of the task force, Mr Kayode Opeifa, called on stakeholders to comply with the new directives.

He expressed the task force’s readiness to punish any truck driver that violated the order.

The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Hassan Bello, who was represented by the head of the Consumers Affairs Department of the Council, Chief Cajetah  Agu, explained that the Federal Government was aware of the perennial traffic problems and had commenced moves to establish truck transit parks for drivers and other motorists.

The Federal Government had two weeks ago issued a 72-hour ultimatum for all trucks to vacate the Apapa roads, but stakeholders who spoke with our correspondent insisted that it was difficult for trucks to move as there were no alternative and good access roads.

The NPA and stakeholders have been intensifying efforts to build transit truck parks as a short term measure and build other ports as a long term measure. This is in addition to rehabilitating rail and road infrastructure around the nation.

The 2.5km Apapa /Wharf road had recently witnessed traffic relief since the completion of work on the section inwards Apapa by the Dangote Group, Flour Mills, NPA and Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing.

Rehabilitation work is still ongoing on the lane outwards Apapa.

Stakeholders are, however, calling on the government to extend the road rehabilitation to Tin Can and Coconut end of the port which is in a serious state of disrepair.

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