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Only trucks from approved parks will gain access into ports from Feb 27 – Usman insists

…As NPA empowers LATSMA, Road Safety to impound trucks on Apapa roads

Trucks not emanating from any of the eight approved parks would no longer gain access into the Lagos ports from February 27, Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has insisted.

The electronic call-up system, ‘Eto App’ being deployed by the NPA for the management of truck traffic into the ports in Lagos, takes effect from February 27.

Speaking in Lagos on Monday during a virtual interactive session with maritime journalists, Usman said all arrangements have been put in place to ensure the full deployment of Eto App on the scheduled date and the implementation of all the requirements as planned without hitches.

This means that from February 27 when the NPA is expected to deploy the Eto App, residents and businesses within the Apapa Port corridor, would have a breath of fresh air as there would be some relief from the perennial traffic congestion caused by trucks which parking indiscriminately within and Apapa.

According Usman, the NPA has also empowered officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LATSMA) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to impound any truck parked indiscriminately on Apapa roads starting from February 27.

“Some of the issues that we have seen over the years is the inability to have designated truck parks. But we now have eight approved truck parks that have signed up to the call-up system. The NPA carried out advertisement for interested private park owners to apply and we have been able to select eight qualified parks,” she said.

BusinessDay gathered that these parks are located around Ojota, Obanikoro, Oregun, Olowotedo-Ibafo, Amuwo-Odofin, Orile-Iganmu and Okorisan-Lekki/Epe, and they have the capacity to sit between 2,000 and 3,000 trucks.

The NPA boss said that going forward; trucks must be invited using the electronic call-up system before it could gain access into the port. All trucks, she added, would be moved away from the port corridor to be parked at the truck parks.

“It would be done transparently on first come first served basis. Truckers are expected to download the Eto App to sign-up. We have also requested for the operator to have a dashboard in front of port locations where movement of trucks would be displayed for truckers to see their schedule for the day,” she said.

Usman, who pointed out that the NPA was working with the Lagos State authorities to ensure compliance and in selection of truck parks, explained that the state government would be in charge of impounding trucks that have not keyed into the call-up system, and such trucker, would be made to pay certain amount for the truck to be released.

On export cargo, she disclosed that Lilypond would serve as export processing terminal, where exporters would be required to consolidate their export cargo, have room to complete the necessary documentation before moving the cargo into the port for export.

On containers, she said that consignees would now be required to drop empty containers at the holding-bay of shipping companies, and the shipping liners would now be responsible for taking empties into the port.

According to her, going forward, compliance to the empty container policy would be part of the requirements for the annual validation of shipping liners that would be licensed to call Nigerian ports.

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