By Kenneth Jukpor
As part of efforts to curb the influx of trucks to the port access roads, the Association of Maritime Trucker Owners (AMATO) has proposed an online platform known as Truck Scheduler system to regulate trucking activities on the port corridors.
The Chairman of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi revealed this during a chat with our correspondent last week, stressing that the platform could be an interim measure pending the implementation of the electronic truck call-up system championed by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Ogungbemi described the e-platform known as ‘Truck Sceduler’ as a simple one in sync with other social media platforms to show representatives of shipping lines, terminal operators, security agencies, truckers and other port stakeholders the trucks around to access the ports and the specific destinations.
He encouraged NPA to adopt the system while it concluded preparations for its electronic call-up system to fully automate trucking activities on the port corridors.
Meanwhile, he commended the Federal Government for yielding to the cries of truckers to disband the activities of the Presidential Task Team (PTT) on Apapa Gridlock.
The activities of the PTT had raised conflicting views in recent months as it was accused of extorting truckers and complicating the port access quagmire, but the Task Team confirmed its handover to Lagos State government in a statement by the Executive Vice Chairman, Comrade (Dr.) Kayode Opeifa.
Consequently, Opeifa noted that there would be removal of all stationary trucks on Lagos port access roads leading to the ports.
“After weeks of careful planning, I am pleased to announce that the presidential task team charged with the responsibility of Restoration of Law and Order on Lagos roads leading to Apapa and around Lagos Port and Maritime Logistics Corridor has successfully handed over its activities to the LASG to be supported by the Lagos State Police Command”, Dr. Opeifa stated, noting the positive multiplier effects on road congestion, haulage and cost of doing business in Lagos ports.
“Following the restoration of relative normalcy on the axis with a massive reduction in congestion and traffic, the task force completed its task and decided to withdraw on October 7, 2020”.
“A report of the activities of the Team was presented to the Presidency on the 7th of October, 2020 at a meeting Chaired by His Excellency the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and in attendance; the HMoT, HE Rotimi Amaechi; the HMWH HE Babatunde Raji Fashola; CG Customs Col Hameed Ali (Rtd); MD NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman; ES NSC, Barrister Hassan Bello; FRSC Corp Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi; DCOS to the President Mr. Ade Ipaye and the SSA to the President on Media.
Opeifa said the handover process started on November 8, 2020 and was officially completed on December 29, 2020, even as he stressed that PTT made some recommendations that would ensure total elimination of gridlock on Lagos ports roads, in future.
Meanwhile, the AMATO boss claimed that PTT officers are still operating on Lagos port access roads.
His words: “The Taskforce haven’t left the port access roads eventhough they claim to have handed-over. The officers are still on the roads as they claim to be waiting for an official directive. It is still business as usual because they are extorting around Mile 2.”
“We hope this is the last straw before they leave for good because NPA has confirmed the disbandment and the Chairman has also said it is over.”