Apapa gridlock eases 2 days after expiration of Presidential directive
The 72-hour Presidential order for articulated vehicles to vacate the Apapa Wharf access roads which expired on Saturday afternoon has improved traffic on Apapa Port access roads.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trucks call-up system by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has also improved the traffic situation.
Mr Sam Adeyemo, a Chieftain of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, Dry Cargo Sector, told NAN that traffic improvement would be temporary, because without the provision of truck bays, the traffic crisis might not end.
Adeyemo, who has been in the trucking business for two decades, said the problem was an artificial creation of the shipping companies.
“The shipping companies are the ones benefiting from the situation by ensuring that the appropriate money is deposited by importers with them through demurrage.
“Every importer deposits huge sum of money as a surety for containers. Such money is to be paid back to the importer if he does not delay in returning the empty container to the shipping company.
“With this traffic situation, every importer forfeits that deposit to the shipping companies; hence the shipping companies do not want to comply with the provision of truck holding bays.
“It should not be a must for me to carry the container back to the port. What happens to the bonded terminals outside ports?
“Empty containers can be taken to such facilities (bonded terminals); for the shipping companies to go there and pick the containers when they wish,” he said.
The transporter, appealed to the Federal Government to compel the shipping companies to make use of the bonded terminals that had been lying fallow for long across Lagos State.
According to him, if the private bonded terminals are put to use, so many people will not have anything to do at port.
He noted that if cargoes were being stemmed (taken) to the bonded terminals, the cargo owners could go there, pick their goods and also return empty containers there without problem.
He thanked the Federal Government for removing military operatives from the management of Apapa traffic.
NAN reports that the traffic managers mostly drawn from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), who spoke under condition of anonymity, confirmed that the manual call-up system was working.(NAN)