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NPA Explains Apapa Gridlock Persistence

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The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has said that the truck queue and traffic congestion in Apapa would not reduce unless there is a concerted effort by concerned authorities to provide trailer parks.
This was contained in a statement made available to The Tide by NPA last Wdnesday as Usman expressed displeasure over the delay in the commissioning of the Tin Can Island trailer park ten years after the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing took over the project.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to conclude the trailer park inside Tin Can Island. There is a trailer park there that the Ministry of Works has been constructing for the past ten years.
“I have held discussions with the Ministry since I assumed office two and half years ago and made a request that they should hand over that trailer park to the Nigerian Ports Authority so that we can conclude the shore protection and have it ready since December 2017 yet we are still here, it has not been finished, it has not been handed over. The traffic situation in Apapa will not reduce unless there is a concerted effort in providing trailer parks,” Usman said.
Hadiza Usman said the construction of more truck parks outside the port environment would go a long way in decongesting the Lagos ports access roads.
“The gridlock in Apapa has been lingering for too long. The Nigerian port in the last three weeks withdrew the lease for Lilypond as a terminal and converted it into a trailer park. I would also call on the Lagos and Ogun State governments to look at land allocations and cancel them for overriding public interest and make them trailer parks outside of the port environment where those trailers can sit.
“We must have trailer parks and holding bays for trucks to enable us manage the traffic. We can’t have a situation where all trailers do not have designated parks.
“You must have as a state and local government, designated locations for trailers to park. NPA intends to now have call-up systems that will be deployed in these trailer parks.
“Lilypond is a transit park into the port but we need to have a large size trailer park that will house the trailers on the roads. It is a big challenge that we have and we will continue to see what we can do to decongest the bridges to ensure seamless inflow and outflow,” she stated.
The Managing Director also lamented the absence of functional scanners and single window platform in cargo clearance at the port, adding that the physical examination of cargo at the port hampers efficient cargo delivery.

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Maritime

NPA Frowns Against Extortion Of Truck Drivers

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to sanction any staff that indulges in extortion of money from truck drivers at Apapa Port. 
The Acting Managing Director, NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, disclosed this shortly after a meeting with Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
Koko expressed optimism that the agency’s collaboration with the state government would bring an end to the perennial gridlock within and around the Apapa area.
The NPA boss emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws along the roads leading to Apapa and Tin Can ports, which are the two busiest ports in the country. 
He said NPA had been inundated with complaints of extortion from truckers, especially by security operatives, demanding money from drivers before accessing the ports.
 He described the practice as a major disincentive to the smooth implementation of the truck call-up system.
“One of the complaints of the truckers has to do with extortion by security operatives, the Army, the Police, the Nigerian Navy and even NPA security staff.
“This is one of the areas we require the intervention of government, because we have police officers deployed from the State Command who are allegedly involved in this. We at the NPA have resolved to take the right punitive measures against any of our staff involved in this.
“We have moved some of them out of port locations, and we will do further reviews. Whoever is found involved would be appropriately sanctioned”, he said. 
The NPA boss acknowledged that the Lagos State Government had been a close partner in terms of enforcement, but asked for more intervention to end the menace. 
“NPA has reached out to the Federal Ministry of Works, we have been speaking with the Director of Works in the State, and we have asked that they should provide some palliatives around Sunrise Bus-stop.
“We were made to understand that the contract for that section of the road has just been awarded, but because of the rains, work has been delayed”, he added.

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MWUN Tasks NIMASA, NIWA On Boat Drivers’ Training

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The Maritime and Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to train and retrain boat drivers in the country to reduce incessant accidents on our waterways.
MWUN said training and retraining of boat drivers would enhance their capability and efficiency in the industry and save lives.
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers State Chapter, Comrade Jonah Jumbo disclosed this during a telephone interview with The Tide.
Comrade Jumbo also advised NIMASA and NIWA to sanction any boat driver involved in over-speeding, overloading and reckless driving to reduce boat mishaps.
The chairman who regretted that most boat drivers lacked the skills and technical know-how to navigate the waters, said their human errors often caused accidents.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that regular training for boat drivers would enrich their skills and enable them to read the tide while on transit.
He frowned at the increasing rate of boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways and urged all stakeholders to check the trend. 
The MWUN boss called on the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police to arrest and prosecute any driver indulging in alcohol and overloading of passengers while on transit, adding that the act caused over seventy percent of water accident.
He appealed to drivers to desist from acts capable of causing accident, noting that many families have lost their loved ones through reckless driving and unholy acts caused by human errors on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Sokoto To Boost Water Transport With Motorised Boats

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The Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, says his administration will boost water transportation with motorised boats.
He also said his government would make life jackets available to all travellers and other water users to reduce boat mishap.
The governor stated this while commiserating with the people of Shagari Local Government Area that recently lost their loved ones in a boat mishap in the state. 
He regretted that the state had lost many lives to boat accidents and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and their families the fortitude to bear their loss.
Also speaking, Chairman, Shagari Local Government Council, Aliyu Dantine Shagari, said eight of the victims were married women while five were children and elderly men.
He attributed the cause of the boat mishap to overloading.
“But there are other causes of boat mishap including strong wind. We are still investigating the matter to know what actually led to the accident”, he said. 
The chairman advised boat drivers to desist from overloading and over speeding, noting that the community lost over six people in a similar accident last year.

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