Reps to declare “State of Emergency”
- AMATO Lists Solutions
It is the prayers of most port users that the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi be arrested as the House of Representatives led by Hon. Yakubu Dogara is working on getting the buy in of the Presidency to declare a State of Emergency on Apapa port access roads. By this, Speaker Dogara believes that the executive arm of the government will accord Apapa access roads the deserving national attention giving its deplorable and inaccessible state now.
Dogara, who spoke to MMS Plus through a Presidency source, is said to be also concerned about carrying the House along in the action which will culminate to a national stakeholders’ forum on Apapa traffic within the first quarter of 2016.
Dogara, who observed that Apapa is the economic nerve of the nation equally developed panacea to the problem, grading them in short, medium and long terms.
Meanwhile as Amaechi takes a tour of some of the parastatals under Federal Ministry of Transport, on Monday in Lagos, port users have joined their voices in prayers and faith that he should be made to be ‘arrested’ by the perennial traffic gridlock to provoke him to action. The visiting Senate Committee on Marine Transport and the Works, last week, had escaped the Apapa traffic “landmines” and therefore could not properly assess the situation as the port users feel it.
Amaechi is to visit the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC); Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
Conversely, it was an August break. No rain. No gridlock. Some chose to describe it as miracle or magic that the visiting senate committees meant to assess the port access roads were greeted with free flow of traffic. That day was on Monday 7th December, 2015. The maritime industry stakeholders had seemingly unanimously prayed that the Senators experience the daily nightmares and dilemma they undergo every working day on Apapa roads so that they could be provoked to help clear the traffic “letch”.
Speaking during an on-the-spot assessment of the Tincan Port holding bay, the Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Sen. Sanni Yerima asserted that the contract for the construction of the second Liverpool Bridge and the 400 – capacity truck bay was delayed because of N1.5 billion variations in the contract value owed the contractors, Messrs Borni Prono Construction Company. The contract was awarded in 2009 by the Federal Government through Ministry of Works at the cost of N8.6 billion to ease the traffic congestion at Tin can Island port. By the contract terms, it was expected to have been completed within the first quarter of 2012.
Pledging that the contractor will be paid his variation immediately, the Senate Committee Chairman on Works, Sen. Kabiru Gaya, standing before top executives of the NPA observed that the project was 95 percent completed, while noting that the Senate was committed to ensuring that Apapa gridlock becomes a history.
At the stakeholders’ dialogue session which took place at the Eko Hotel, Lagos, after the on-the-spot assessment tour, agencies of the government were fully represented by their chief executive officers.
In their presentation, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) listed short and long term solutions to the crisis. On the short term, the group said it is introducing a weekly 24 hours robust customized web-based call-up software solutions based on the complex peculiarities of the logistics or trucking business in Nigeria.
AMATO equally restated its plan to have a truck park at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, while having a vehicle access control at the truck park.
AMATO made the presentation in partnership with FT Logistics Global Services, chaired by Chief Chris Orode