The Management of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Onne Port Complex has geared vigorous efforts towards curbing the challenges of criminality and indiscriminate truck parking along the Onne Port Access Road in Rivers State.
This position was made known by the Onne Port Complex Manager, Mr. Durowaiye Ayodele, during a recent road show by the Port to sensitize truck owners/drivers on the security implication of parking trucks indiscriminately along the access Port road in Onne.
Durowaiye expressed concern that truck parked indiscriminately often times becomes a haven for hoodlums who hide under such trucks to attack unsuspecting members of the Public who are at the Port to do business.
He said that the NPA officials particularly from the security department, the Port police, the Onne police division and all other security agencies would work in synergy to enforce the decongestion exercise adding that the Traffic Management system by the Port Authority is integrated in conjunction with the host community management system.
The Port Manager noted that prior to the sensitization road show in Onne tagged, ‘’Operation Free Onne Port Roads No Parking, No Waiting and No Loitering’’, the indiscriminate parking of trucks from the Port Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) junction to Notore Fertilizer and Chemical roundabout, ‘has not only been a nuisance but also a threat to lives and property of all stake holders using the access road’’.
The pro-active measure according to the Chief Executive of the Onne Port, “is to nip on the bud, the ugly phenomenon of traffic gridlock in the nearest feature and the NPA Onne Management in their foresight envisage the menace and lock jams of traffic in the Port as it is happening now’’.
The Port executive further reiterated that after the clearing of the road, women of the host communities would be deployed to sweep the road on daily basis as part of the Ports Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) function, assuring that, once the Management has the co-operation of the communities and the stakeholders, the objective would be achieved.
To ensure enforcement, he disclosed that the management has acquired a Hiace truck and a towing truck procured by the trailer operators, and that with these vehicles in place, the task force would be able to carry out its assignment, warning that before two weeks or thirty days after the sensitization, any truck that fails to comply with the instruction would be subjected to pay heavy fine.
He pointed out that people with bad intentions could hide among these trailers and commit nefarious activities in and around the environment, ‘’if we do not take proactive measures, this place is going to be difficult to manage. He emphasized.’’
Ayodele disclosed that the capacity of the Port trailer park is about One Hundred and Eighty, though logically, not all of the trucks would be parking and sleeping at the same time there but luckily, LP Consult Nigeria Limited, a private partner in this process has started to tidy the park the way it should be.
He further disclosed that if the Management is able to tidy the trucks from FOT to Notore roundabout which is the immediate precinct of the Port, then they would be able to create an environment one sees in other countries outside Nigeria.
He stated that Onne Port is the future of Port development in the country, and, ‘’ this is the time to take decision because by the time this Port is fully developed, it will look like Apapa in a big way, he emphasized,’’ while thanking all stakeholders, and solicited their cooperation to ensure the success of the assignment.
Earlier, Engr. Sule Umar Wunti, the head, of the Port Safety department disclosed that the essence of the program was to ensure safety on Onne Port access road, ‘’ we cannot sit down without being proactive, we do not want what is happening in other places to happen here in Onne”, he emphasized.
In his reaction, the representative of Onne Youth Council, Engineer Olungwe O. Olungwe commended the Management of the Port for the sensitization of the stakeholders to free the access road, noting that, the most important thing was to protect those who are coming to do business in Onne Port, the parking of trucks on the access road had been causing nuisance to other people coming to do business in the Port.
The gesture of NPA Onne, to deploy our mothers to clean the road to enhance Corporate Social Responsibility is highly commended. The youth will give total support and also mobilize our people in line with what the Onne Port Management is doing to keep Onne road free” he concluded.
Mr. John Clement of the Intels Nigeria Limited, the major developer of Onne Port, also reacted that, ‘’we are seeing everything somebody has been praying for, and now there is a total turn around and a total reshuffling of the system. We will ensure that we maintain a first class safety in the Port. We assure NPA of our hundred percent backing and to give total support for the realization of operation free Onne Port access road’’, he said.
B. Ejemeh Nchey – Achukwu (Mrs.)
Port Public Relation Officer, Onne