By Babajide Okeowo
In a bid to address the perennial traffic gridlock that has brought business activities to their knees in Apapa, The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani has called on the relevant agencies to enforce compliance with all traffic rules.
Ajani said this in Lagos during a meeting she held with stakeholders including officials of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), truck owners and representatives of shipping companies.
She disclosed that the blockade of Tin Can Island Port by trucks due to the activities of different government officials, truck owners, and drivers was no longer tolerable and must be dealt with decisively before the deployment of an electronic call-up system by NPA in January 2021 to manage the movement of trucks on the port access road.
“We want to plead with the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, and the Police; enforcement is very key. Enforcing means don’t let people who should not be on the road come on the road, because if there are no trucks on the road, we won’t have the miscreants. There will not be anyone to coerce on the road. Who gives the miscreants access into the port when they are not supposed to be there?
Before the electronic call-up system starts, you’ve been operating for decades. How have you been calling up your trucks? Manual, I presume. So, why can’t you get back to that and make sure that it is a functional call-up? Functional call-up is the word.
We all have our roles to play, but the typical thing is that we want to show that we have authority somewhere, and everybody trying to show that they have authority somewhere is what has ended us where we are now” she said.
Ajani also called on FRSC to deploy more truck towing vehicles on the port access roads to remove broken down and unwanted trucks to free up the road.