The Senate Committee on Works has issued a two-week ultimatum to truck owners, Nigerian Port Authority and other agencies to remove every truck/trailer causing traffic jam on Apapa-Wharf and Apapa-Oshodi roads.
Also a one-week deadline was given to the contractor handling trailers’ park at Tincan Port to complete the project for commissioning and immediate use.
Also, other agencies handling various logistics operations at the Apapa port were issued another one-week ultimatum to brace up.
In what they described as “a national embarrassment” for trailers to turn bridges and major roads leading to the port to parks, the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, warned that if there is no positive response after two weeks, the committee would take a definite action and compel the Federal Government to do something drastic.
Gaya, who led other senators on the committee like Barnabas Gemade, Clifford Ordia and Mao Ohambuwa on a fact finding mission to Lagos to seek a solution to the Apapa traffic jam, said they had come to sit with all stakeholders to provide immediate solutions to the gridlock.
He said ‘’Let me say for two weeks, we will see positive response. If we don’t, we will take our action and I can assure you that the federal government will do something drastic.”
On the automatic call up system for trailers, Gaya stated that government was trying to get temporary parking spaces for trailers to ease traffic, calling on agencies that are concerned with trucks’ clearance to speed up the process by automating their system of operations.
He bemoaned alleged illegal taxes levied on truck drivers for parking, calling on the security agencies to desist from the act.
As part of measures to ease Apapa gridlock, Gaya said a small committee has been set up to submit report to the Senate Committee within four days.
He wants NPA and other agencies to give waivers to shippers so that other ports such as Warri and Port Harcourt ports could be attractive for use.
During the emergency meeting on decongestion of traffic jam in Apapa in Lagos, stakeholders such as representatives from NPA, truck drivers’ associations, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Federal Roads Safety Commission and shippers spoke on causes of the gridlock and how to nib it in the bud.
Inadequate loading bays by ship owners, bottleneck procedures of clearance, multiple check points by the Nigerian Customs and decadence of port infrastructure were listed as factors responsible for trailers gridlock on Apapa road.
General Manager Security, NPA, Captain Iheanacho Ebubeogu, stated what his agency was doing to fast track trailer clearance, calling on other companies to comply with modus of its operation at the port.
Director of Work in the South west urged owners of trailers to remove them from the road and park them in designated locations.