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The Lagos State Government led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the leadership of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) have recorded major progress in an effort to proffer lasting solutions to the menace of trucks causing gridlocks in Apapa even as they have threatened to take full actions against any defaulter.
From next Saturday on, the movement of trucks in and out of the Lagos seaports will now be organized through a transparent electronic call-up system that will be based on a first-come-first-serve basis.
With the new system, no container-laden truck is expected to go on the Apapa corridor without clearance from the call-up platform. Any truck that flouts the electronic roster and parks along the Apapa corridor will be impounded by the Taskforce already set up by the Lagos State Government.
The development was announced, on Tuesday, when Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu received the NPA Managing Director, Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman, in an audience at the State House, Alausa.
Sanwo-Olu expressed optimism on the transparent electronic call-up system, saying the move was the beginning of the end of Apapa gridlock. He said the call-up platform would be complemented with virtual dashboards that will be placed in strategic locations around the seaports, where all stakeholders will monitor the scheduling of container movement.
The Governor praised NPA for the innovative approach towards tackling the truck menace around ports, pledging that the State Government would sustain the effort with strict enforcement of traffic regulations along the Apapa corridor.
He said: ‘This is the beginning of a better journey time for our citizens within the Apapa seaports and environ. This electronic system has a limited interface with security operatives and unions, which usually cause the gridlock problem. It will be a simple case of possessing electronic clearance. If you don’t have it, you don’t have any reason to be around the seaports.
‘In enforcing the new regulations, we are deploying more than enough towing vehicles to impound erring trucks. The huge amount to be paid as a fine for flouting the call-up system will be a deterrent for drivers not to repeat it. The stakeholders need to understand we are serious about ridding Apapa of the menace that has brought pains to our citizens living and doing businesses along the corridor.’
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be deploying 500 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to work collaboratively with NPA and enforce the new call-up regulation, directing the State’s agency not to spare any effort in achieving free flow of traffic in Apapa.
The Governor said the State was working out a collaboration between the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), and NPA to ascertain the roadworthiness of trucks before leaving their stations to the seaports. This, he said, is to check truck accidents on the highways.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK