Apapa gridlock: Lagos denies involvement in extortion spree
…convenes meeting with truckers
Lagos State has met truckers unions to address reports and allegations that the state traffic management enforcement team charged with the responsibility of solving the gridlock problems in Apapa has compromised its enforcement.
Speaking at the meeting in Ikeja, the special adviser to the state governor on transportation and chairman, Traffic Management Enforcement Team, Oluwatoyin Fayinka stated that the state government was not a party to the extortion along the Apapa port roads.
Fayinka declared all duplicate enforcement groups as usurpers, reiterating that his team remains in charge of all enforcements through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) with the help of the Nigeria Police Force. He stressed that those officials and individuals beating up drivers and carrying out illegal sanctions are not backed by the state government.
While urging truckers to speak in one voice about their woes which the gathering was poised to address, Fayinka noted that the fact-finding gathering will further expose parties responsible for the current state of things at Apapa, adding that physical and graphic evidence will go a long way to legitimize their petitions and feedbacks.
Responding to the questions and comments from the stakeholders, the transport special adviser said the state government has approved a single ticketing system worth N800 which will cater to waste management at the parks and also provide tax certificates for truckers, to cut down the frequent levy placed on trucks at each local government by the transport unions.
In his contribution, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) coordinator, Nnorom Emmanuel stated that the state government had a role to play in sealing the loopholes that have been created since the E-call up system was initiated, adding that most of the bonded terminals had been converted to holding bays temporarily, hence the need for prompt clearance of broken-down vehicles on the access roads to minimize congestion and investigation of fraudulent activities around the corridor.
Rilwan Bello a member of AMATO requested for lands to be allocated for trucks to offload empty containers and to serve as holding bays while waiting for call up, he also requested for the removal of area boys and miscreants.
Emmanuel Essien, a stakeholder and a trucker urged the enforcement committee to implement stronger measures on the trucks without valid TDO’s and ETO tickets barring other truckers with business to do in the ports without physically abusing and victimizing offenders.