…As Hadiza wields the big stick on new Container-return regime***
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has licensed eight Truck parks, to flag off its February 27th Electronic call-up system, in furtherance of the goals of finally curbing truck-induced traffic, in Apapa.
It would be recalled that the Presidential Task Team had waged a successful war which brought the Apapa gridlock to its knees, before handing it over to the Lagos State Government to co-manage, with the Nigerian Ports Authority.
One of the recommendations of the PTT was that the Authority would introduce and run an E-Call-up regime, which would ensure that no unauthorised trucks are allowed to be within the ports axis, let alone clog the routes and ignite another gridlock.
Speaking at a Zoom meeting with Nigerian Maritime newsmen Monday afternoon, the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman said her management actually eyed 13 truck parks at the point of advertisement, but only eight qualified, out of those who applied.
She highlighted that with the E-Call-up system in place, the illegal movements of trucks within the ports’ corridor would become a thing of the past, the road would witnessed only trucks already cleared to be on the roads.
“Any truck that has not been called up, but found on the road would be impounded”, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman stated, adding that a little penalty fee may then be administered, to deter any reoccurrence.
The Managing Director also hinted that she had drawn a policy on the issue of returning empty Container to Shipping companies; and emphasized her determination to equally wield the big stick to enforce it.
“Shipping companies have made a lot of money from container deposit”, she observed; and noted that every Shipping Company has been mandated to acquire a container holding bay, which must accommodate an equivalent of 65 percent of the cargo containers it off-load.
She said she expects a fightback, by way of resistance; and is therefore prepared for it; even as she expressed satisfaction that the big Shipping companies were already complying.
She however warned that any Shipping Company that failed to comply may have its Approval to operate withdrawn.
It is expected that when the E-call up system begins on February 27th, the traffic situation in Apapa, Lagos would become better managed.
In the new regime, a shipper would actually take out the Container with the cargo, off-load your cargo and return the container to the shipping Company’s Holden bay and thereafter go for your deposit. How the shipping company gets the container to the port or ship would remain the exclusive headache of the shipping company.