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FG orders trucks out of Apapa Port access roads, bridges

The Federal Government has ordered the
immediate removal of trucks from the port access roads as well as those parked
on the bridges.

While the Presidency directed that trucks
and tankers operators vacate the port access roads within the next 72 hours, it
wants the entire port area to be cleared within two weeks.

The Presidency directive was contained in a
statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and
Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande on Wednesday in Abuja.
The directive mandated the immediate
removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining
streets leading into the Apapa axis.

 According to the statement, the directive
was as a result of an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari
and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on the 25th of April, 2019. 

It stated, “The meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the
Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations
and livelihood in the area.”

It further stated that before the directive was given, key heads and
representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of
government, including the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr.
Babatunde Raji Fashola; Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu;
representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral B.E.E Ibe-Enwo;
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Salaam Taiwo
Olufemi; and the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports
Authority (NPA), Dr. Sokonte Davies, among others were at the meeting. 

Akande, in the statement said, “Consequently, a Presidential Taskforce, chaired by Vice
President Osinbajo was established to restore law and order to the area within
2 weeks. “The Taskforce, which will report directly to the President, has
included on its Terms of Reference the development of an efficient and effective
management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel
distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of
all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective
manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck
call-up system.

“It also includes the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and
Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others.” Members of the
taskforce, he said, include Mr. Kayode Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport
in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the
Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC); the Nigerian Ports
Authority (NPA); and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).

Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a
Commissioner of Police, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos
State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA),
and other relevant MDAs. 

Akande also said that the Nigerian Navy and all other
military formations have also been mandated to withdraw from traffic management
duties in and around the Apapa axis, while military and paramilitary
checkpoints in front of the ports and environs are to be dismantled. 

He said,
“In addition, LASTMA has been authorised to move into Apapa as the lead traffic
management agency, while the NPA is to commence the immediate use of the
Lilypond Terminal and Trailer Park A as a truck transit park.

“The directive further mandates compliance by all security personnel and MDAs,
while heads of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal
Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and all other security operatives are to
ensure their officers’ adherence to the new directives.”

The Vanguard.

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