APAPA GRIDLOCK: Buhari’s Task Force Laments Poor Infrastructure At NPA Ijora Truck Park
…Says Facility Cannot Operate 24 Hours
The presidential Task Force inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari to evacuate articulated trucks from Apapa port has lamented that the Lillypond Container Terminal at Ijora which is being operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) does not have facility to operate 24 hours.
Since it cancelled the concession with terminal operators; Lillypond Container Terminal Limited, the NPA currently uses the Ijora terminal to operate it’s manual call up system.
But speaking yesterday when he briefed journalists in Apapa, Executive Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee Mr Kayode Opeifa said that Lillypond truck park, a focal point of the NPA Manual Call up system has inadequacy to operate 24 hours due to non-availability of security and flood lightings.
He however assured that “We are working to perfect the use of Lillypond terminal to serve as holding bay for empty container return for trucks”
Also speaking, General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) Mr. Olawale Musa disclosed that LASTMA has so far arrested 120 trucks for non compliance to guidelines reeled out by the committee.
According to him “We have been able to apprehend 120 trucks so far for not compliance to the directives, the number is 120 because we were a bit lenient with them, if we were to go fully we will arrest more, but with that we are not resting on our oars we will ensure that the directive is duely comply to by the truckers.
“We have been able to clear under the bridge, when you go there now you will discover that the place is free of truckers” He said.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello assured that the Tin Can Island Port would soon be linked to the rail network.
According to him, “The Federal Government is already working on linking all ports including the Tin can port and the dry ports by rail and in no time we will have movement of cargo by rail, already we are developing a sustainable system that will go on forever”