The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is ready to tackle all concerns raised by port users on the implementation of the electronic scheduling system for trucks doing business in the ports.
Its Managing Director, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, stated this yesterday in Lagos while reviewing the state of implementation of the policy, popularly known as “ETO system”, a year after it took off.
“We are ready to effectively tackle all concerns raised by port stakeholders; having operated the novel electronic call-up system for about a year, it should be expected that some of the teething issues should give way.
“All lingering issues will require a bit of time to resolve. The important thing is that we are committed to resolving them,” he said.
While commending the effort and investments made by Messrs Truck Transit Park (TTP) Ltd, operator of the call-up system, the NPA helmsman said he recognised that change could sometimes be a painful process.
“In particular, managing the transition from a manual to an electronic call-up system for cargo trucks can be tough, so we have implored the system operator to up its game, in view of the frustrations being expressed by users of the system.”
According to him, the electronic call-up system, popularly called ‘ETO’, has revolutionised delivery and evacuation of shipments at the port, hence the need to put in everything required to sustain its positive on the country’s port industry.
“We are quite aware that about a year after it was introduced, some are yet to fully integrate their trucking business with the ‘ETO’ system, so we are in regular touch with the system operator and very soon necessary remedies to address these issues would be rolled out,” he said.
Bello-Koko further explained that the progress so far achieved had improved time per trip and increased return on logistics investments for haulage operators.
“You will recall that one of the very first places I visited personally, while as acting Managing Director, was the Ijora operational headquarters of the electronic call up system.
“After that visit, I also undertook a first hand assessment of the critical infrastructure in relation to the delivery of ‘ETO’ at the two Lagos ports.”
The managing director acknowledged that traffic had not been free-flowing from the Mile 2 to Tin-Can Island Port.
“This is the encumbrance that the electronic call-up is facing along that axis. What we presently have along the Tin-Can Island Port corridor would clear-out once the road reconstruction is completed.
“We are in constant touch with the Controller of Works in Lagos and the contractors, all in our bid to ensure that the access road from Mile 2 becomes motorable as the one from Ijora into Apapa,” he said.
He said that the NPA had donated 24 new motor bikes to strengthen traffic monitoring and enforcement along the access roads to the Lagos Ports Complex and Tin-Can Island Port.
According to him, “the NPA management is not unimindful of the issues militating against seamless flow of traffic in and out of the port; we are proud of our partnership with the Lagos State Government in this regard.
“We will continue to deploy innovative measures towards eliminating all encumbrances impeding smooth movement of trade along the access roads to the port.
“Our resolve as management of the NPA is to ensure that the goals behind the introduction of the electronic call up system are achieved. We will continue to collaborate with Messrs TTP Ltd, the Lagos State Government and other stakeholders, including the trucking companies.
“There is a remarkable improvement in the traffic situation along the port corridor, so we appeal to truckers to be patient with the electronic call-up system, even as we work towards the attainment of all deliverables.
“We know that an efficient call-up system requires a superb IT to manage truck movement right from the various parks into the seaports. We are working in concert with the operators to improve the situation.
“We look forward to when there will be total removal of personal contact in truck scheduling into the port.
“For this to happen, there must be an efficient IT infrastructure, hi-tech access control, a 24-hour power supply and electronic-controlled monitors at the various truck pre-gates and parks,” the
Police Service Commission Promotes Magu, Seven Others As AIGs
The Police Service Commission has approved the promotion of some senior police officers including the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
The commission confirmed John Amadi as a substantive Deputy Inspector-General of Police and replaced late DIG Joseph Egbunike, who will be representing the South-East in the Force Management.
The commission also approved the appointment of DIG Zama Senchi, who was the most senior in the Assistant Inspector General cadre.
Rising from its 15th plenary in Abuja last Friday, the commission in a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, disclosed that it equally promoted eight Commissioners of Police to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police.
The plenary which began last Wednesday, May 11, was presided over by the Chairman of the commission and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith.
The new AIGs include Magu, who was the most senior in the commissioner of police cadre.
Other new AIGs are Abraham Ayim, Okunlola Kamaldeen, Andrew Amieengheme, Akeera Younous, Celestine Elumelu, Ngozi Onadeko and Danladi Lalas (Airwing).
The commission also approved the promotion of 23 deputy commissioners to the next rank of CPs; 31 assistant commissioners to DCPs and 63 Chief Superintendents of Police to ACPs.
The new CPs include Taiwo Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos and Adelesi Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command.
The statement said, “Other decisions taken by the commission at the plenary were the promotion of 57 Superintendents of Police earlier skipped when their mates were promoted to the next rank of Chief Superintendents.
“Other categories of Superintendents of Police such as the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Course 4, Inspectors Courses 37 and regular ASP’s course 25 and 26 were also promoted to Chief Superintendents, having met established requirements.
Gunmen Kill Two Soldiers, Burn Court, 32 Vehicles In Anambra
Two soldiers have been killed and a lawmaker kidnapped by suspected gunmen in Anambra State.
The gunmen who went on the rampage in the state between Sunday and Monday also set ablaze a local government secretariat, an office of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, a magistrate’s court building as well as over 32 vehicles.
The Tide learnt that a group of hoodlums, wielding weapons, including guns, opened fire on a military checkpoint at the 3-3 Estate in Nkwelle Ezunaka, near Onitsha, where they shot two soldiers dead.
The soldiers were said to have retaliated, as a gun battle ensued thereafter.
According to sources, the shooting started around 10pm on Sunday and lasted till early Monday, with bullets flying in the air and dropping on rooftops.
It was learnt that the gunmen also visited the Government Reserved Area in Onitsha, where they shot intermittently.
The attacks came less than three days after the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, visited the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Services.
In another attack, suspected gunmen also shot dead a vigilante at the Eke Oko community in the Aguata Local Government Area on Sunday.
The victim, who was on a motorcycle, was putting on a mobile police T-shirt when the gunmen overtook and shot him dead.
Sources said the hoodlums burnt all files and property in the council secretariat while over 32 vehicles parked inside the secretariat were also reportedly razed.
The police spokesman, Ikenga, attributed the incident to unidentified arsonists.
The Tide also learnt that the gunmen proceeded to the Ogidi district office of the EEDC, not far from the secretariat and set it ablaze.
About 32 utility and operational vehicles were reportedly burnt during the incident, including other assets and equipment on the premises.
The hoodlums also reportedly inflicted machete cuts on the security guard manning the office, cut his head, leg and arm, as they demanded his gun, while his other colleagues ran for their lives.
Confirming the incident, the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, expressed displeasure that efforts made to reach the Anambra State Fire Service did not yield any positive result.
Ezeh said members of staff who were on ground were helpless, as they watched the office building and other assets go up in flames.
He said, “It later took the intervention of the Commissioner for Utilities, Mr Julius Chukwuemeka, around 9.05am to bring the fire service team down to the scene of the incident.
“This is a big loss to EEDC, and a great setback to the efforts being made by the company to strengthen its network and improve the quality of service to its customers within Ogidi and Anambra State at large”.
EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Over N80bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering to the tune of N80 bilion.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled, ‘EFCC arrests Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, for N80billion Fraud’.
The anti-graft agency said Idris was arrested after failing to honour an invitation.
According to the commission, the Accountant-General allegedly laundered the funds through bogus consultancies.
The statement read in part, “Operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022 arrested the serving Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.
“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities, using proxies, family members and close associates.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja. Mr Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts”.
The Tide learnt that Idris is still at the EFCC custody as at the time of filing this report.
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