Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko, has restated the Authority’s resolve to eradicate traffic gridlocks around all port locations in the country, to ease the frustration and delays experienced by firms and persons doing business at the ports
Bello Koko represented by the Executive Director Marine & Operations of the NPA, Hon. Onari Brown, made these remarks at the unveiling of twenty-four new motor bikes to strengthen traffic monitoring and enforcement along the access roads to the Lagos Ports Complex and Tin-Can Island Port.
The NPA, in 2021, introduced an electronic truck booking system that imposed scheduling restrictions on trucks doing business at the port, and in partnership with the Lagos State Government, began an enforcement campaign against indiscriminate parking of trucks along the port access roads.
As landlord and technical regulator of the port, the NPA Managing Director at the event again assured port operators and users that the Authority would continue to deploy innovative measures towards the elimination of all encumbrances preventing free movement of trade along the access roads to the port.
He commended the Lagos State Government and its agencies for the support provided to restore sanity on the roads in Apapa and its environs, just as he expressed his delight with the progress achieved since the introduction of the electronic call-up system for cargo trucks.
He said that the NPA has seen an improvement in the evacuation of cargo from the terminals to the hinterlands, while travel time to and from the port has equally improved.
Earlier in his address, NPA’s General Manager Security, Mohammed Khalil, stated that the concept of the “Eto” call-up system, introduced by the Authority in 2021, has revolutionized cargo delivery and evacuation at the nation’s seaports.
Khalil said that the launch of the motor bikes would complement the gains achieved following the introduction of the e-call up system for trucks which has proven to be a solution to the perennial gridlock from Ikorodu road into Apapa.
He said that arrangements have been made with respect to rules of engagement or standard operating procedures (SOP) for riders of the motor bikes, along with the necessary logistics and technical support, towards a successful traffic monitoring and enforcement.
Port Manager, Lagos Ports Complex, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu, in her welcome address appreciated the Management for its efforts aimed at putting an end to the traffic gridlock impacting on port operations, especially at the Lagos Ports Complex and Tin-Can Island Port.
She said the launch of the motor bikes would improve traffic monitoring from Ijora, through Sifax Inland Container Terminal up to Mr. Biggs, linking Apapa to Tin-Can Island Port corridor. According to her, the introduction of motor bike patrols would further enhance safety and security at the nation’s two busiest seaports.
Hon. Sola Giwa, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Central Business Districts (CBDs) and Vice Chairman on Apapa Traffic stated that the Lagos State Government would continue to collaborate with the NPA towards improved travel time within the Apapa corridor.
Giwa said that as Landlord to the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos State is willing and would continue to partner with NPA to eliminate traffic congestion and travel delays being experienced by residents and business owners in Apapa.
“This is our first collaboration with the NPA and it has been successful. I can assure you that the Lagos State Government would do more to support your initiatives. However to whom much is given, much is expected,” he added.
The event was witnessed by senior officials of NPA, Commissioner Port Police Command Jonathan Towuru, Federal Road Safety Commission Sector Head of Operations Cyril Zango Matthew, among other dignitaries.