Respite As Tin Can Port Access Traffic Dissappears

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L-R: Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko and Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Port Command, Compt Dera Nnadi

…Articulated Trucks, Petroleum Tanker Dislodged

…Tin Can Customs, LASTCOC Commend NPA, Lagos Govt, Call for Sustained Onslaught

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The perennial traffic gridlock along Mile 2 to Tin Can Island Port in Lagos has suddenly disappeared following a joint operation of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government which was embarked upon last week Monday.

This is even as stakeholders have called for sustainability of the joint exercise to ensure the traffic problem never returns.

DAILY TREND who visited the port on Wednesday through Friday, reports that motorist can now access the Tin Can Port and Apapa Port axis directly from Oshodi through Mile 2, Tin Can Port and straight to Apapa.
Our correspondent also noticed that commercial buses which have been unable to ply the access road in the past ten years, are now access the port freely.

This news platform had reported last week that the NPA Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex and Chairman Eto Project Implementation Committee, Mr Charles Okaga, informed of plans by NPA and Lagos Government to dislodge articulated trucks and all extortion points from the Mile 2/Tin Can Port access road.

He said that the Agency is worried that months after rehabilitation and completion of the road project, port users and motorist could still not access the port directly except they ply one-way.

Okaga said there are 20 extortion points along the Mile 2- Tin Can Island Port access where illegal monies are collected from truck drivers before entering into the port.

According to Mr Okaga, the activities of non-state actors collecting these illegal monies from truck drivers has caused the drivers to divert to using the Ijora axis to gain access to Tin Can Island Port.

This development, he said has created pressure on the Apapa axis, and the Ijora bridge is now in need of rehabilitation due to pressure.

“We have gone into collaboration with the Lagos State Government, we did some clearance of shanties and areas obstructing port movement last week along the Apapa area to Ijora side, we are embarking on that of Mile 2 area to Tin Can Island Port by next week (this week)

“In the advocacy efforts in encouraging people to comply and conform, the first thing is to provide the right environment for business to thrive. If you cannot drive freely in and out of the ports, businesses cannot thrive.

“The pressure on the Apapa-Ijora axis is as a result of the activities of the non-state actors along the Mile 2- Tin Can axis, there are more than twenty points that trucks and truckers are meant to part with money before getting into the port.

“The preference to avoid these things, both Tin Can bound trucks and Apapa bound trucks are now plying the Ijora corridor in order to reduce cost of access.

“Right now we are having rehabilitation works on the bridge, so the volume of traffic and pressure has increased, and because of this, there is more pains” Okaga said

Meanwhile, stakeholders have started commending the joint efforts by the NPA and the Lagos State Government over the clearance of the port access road.

The Secretary of the Lagos State Truck and Cargo Operators Committee (LASTCOC) Mr Sanni Bala in an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND on Sunday, expressed the gratitude of LASTCOC and appreciation to the NPA and Lagos State Government for successful opening up of the Tincan logistics corridor for free vehicular movement.

According to LASTCOC, “NPA and Lagos Government have successfully broke that jinx that always make opening of Tincan port access road look like an impossible herculean task

“The opening Tincan Port access road would promote free flow of traffic, seamless evacuation of cargo, promote trade facilitation and ease of doing business.

“It is our hope and prayer that the road clearance operation would be a continuous exercise to prevent re-grouping and return of extortion bandits taking advantage of gridlock to extort truckers and burgle containers in transit” Sanni Bala stated

Also speaking during a press conference in Lagos last week, Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Port, Compt Dera Nnadi commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi, the Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for sanitising the port access road.

While briefing journalists, Compt Nnadi said “The greatest glory goes to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide SanwoOlu, who gave the political will to ensure the exercise succeeded.

“We had meetings with NPA, exporters, importers, shipping lines and freight forwarders. We thank the media for highlighting the challenges we faced on the port access road. The good thing now is that the road had been cleared and the heaps of refuse removed for us to have sanity around the port corridor.

“Since 2017, that corridor was not in use because of the menace of truck drivers leaving their vehicles on the major road. We thank Lagos government, the Customs CG and other security agencies that helped in this exercise

“Opening this corridor will increase cargo throughput, in order to enhance trade facilitation and more revenue collection for government”

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