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With over 8,000 trucks certified, NPA plans mop-up exercise for more compliance

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will
carry out a mop-up exercise on trucks operating at the Western Ports, to ensure
they comply with the prescribed minimum standards.

The General Manager, Western Ports, Chief
Michael Ajayi, who disclosed this in an interview, said the mop-up exercise
would ensure that no truck is left out of the compliance drive for standard
trucks operation at the ports.

“Having executed the first phase, we are
in the second phase of mopping up, to ensure that those ones that slipped
through our system by error of omission or commission, are got back to go and
do the right thing.

“Right now at the port we have an
enforcement committee comprising the Police, the State VIO, members of the
safety department, and the enforcement is chaired by the Area Commander.

“Trucks that don’t meet the minimum
standard are turned back. Even if you had met it at one point or the other, and
at subsequent visit to the port you have not met it, you are consequently
turned back.

“The truck driver will have to go and fix
the problem before coming back, so the enforcement unit is life and working,”
Ajayi said.

The General Manager, however, said that
the compliance level was quite encouraging, even as the enforcement team had
turned back several non-compliant trucks from entering the ports.

“I can assure you that they are fully in
compliance with our policy. We are talking about 8,000 trucks that have already
complied and operating in the system, while we have rejected many trucks that
have fallen below the required standard.”

Ajayi also disclosed that his team went on
inspection of 33 trucks on the request of the truck operators, but according to
him, only three were certified road-worthy, while others were rejected.
He restated that the NPA’s objective was
to ensure public safety, and not to drive the truck operators out of business.

He said the NPA would not compromise its
policy on minimum standard, so, it plans to gradually ease out non-compliant
trucks over time, while those that require little things done to attain the
minimum standard are encouraged to do so.

Ajayi said the exercise was being reviewed
regularly, and assured that there were no fears of congestion at the gate as
trucks were only checked for compliance as they come in at different times.

On the issue of operational weigh bridges
in the ports, the General Manager said the weigh bridges are in the care of the
concessionaires, but that the NPA had also written to them to ensure they were
put in use.

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