August 18, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

Acting NPA MD promises to resolve Apapa bottlenecks

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will soon resolve all teething challenges impeding the smooth implementation of the electronic call-up system for trucks doing business at the ports, its Acting Managing Director, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, said today in Lagos.

Bello-Koko made the pledge while interacting with truck owners and drivers during his visit to the Lilipond Terminal in Ijora.

Mr Olaseni Alakija, General Manager, Corporate and Strategy Communications, said that the visit was to enable the Acting Managing Director have a firsthand assessment of the IT infrastructure built for the call-up system, which is domiciled in the terminal.

It quoted him as saying that he was at the terminal to re-evaluate the performance of the truck call-up system three months after it was deployed.

“I also want to engage directly with the service users to appreciate their concerns and those bottlenecks arising from their subscription of the traffic management platform.

“All teething issues arising from the truck call-up system will be addressed progressively; both the online scheduling process and truck transit arrangement will be fine-tuned to check against manipulation and other related irregularities.

“We will ensure that the entire process is fully automated and secured to prevent counterfeiting, while priority will be given to export cargoes in line with the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Chief Remi Ogungbemi, President of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), who spoke on behalf of operators doing business at the port, expressed his delight over the unannounced visit of the Acting Managing Director.

He described the visit as a demonstration of the Acting Managing Director’s affirmation that the truck call-up system was a priority.

“We are very happy you are here. It shows clearly that you are a listening and focused leader, who is prepared to tackle the critical issues affecting port business in our country.

“We will work with you; the success of NPA is our success as well. We commend the NPA for giving us this call-up system. The story so far has, however, not been enjoyable. We’re hopeful that things will improve very soon,” he said.

NPA, on February 27, rolled out an electronic call-up system for trucks dubbed “Eto”, to address the intractable traffic gridlock along the access roads leading to the two major seaports in the Lagos area.

The Tuesday visit to Lilypond Terminal by the Acting Managing Director, his first since he assumed office on May 6, is to enable him assess the quality of equipment so far deployed and identify the necessary measures required, so that the system could be made to achieve its intended objective.