As part of measures to ease the perennial gridlock in Apapa, Lagos,
the Nigerian Navy says it has introduced a “call up card system” for
trucks that have business to do at the ports. This is even as the
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said trucks would no longer be allowed
to take empty containers directly to the port.
The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore
Okon Eyo, disclosed this to journalists at a news conference at the
Naval Base in Apapa, Lagos.
He said the call up card system only allowed trucks that had business
inside the ports, while those without call up cards will be turned
back at the foot of the bridge.
“What we have done was to a design call up card. Every morning, we ask
them to bring the particulars of the trucks and we endorse the cards
and give it to them. This will distinguish them from those who are not
supposed to move, who should wait for normal clearance to proceed.
“This card will be given back to them and this means that we have
processed trucks to continue. This card has worked perfectly well with
the tankers and with this, they have been able to conduct their
businesses well,” he said.
He said that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had also played a
major role in easing the traffic situation around the port area. “We
had a meeting and we were able to brainstorm and they have to do more
supervision and we all agreed to step up our game,” he said.
Eyo said shipping companies should have a holding bay to reduce the
number of trucks carrying containers on the road. He said the call up
system started on March 22. The Traffic Manager of Lagos Port Complex,
Apapa, Victor Ogini, said that there was an existing relationship
between the port and the Nigerian Navy.
Ogini also said that trucks are no longer allowed to return empty
containers to the nation’s seaports. According to him, empty
containers are henceforth to be delivered directly to shipping
companies holding bay.
“With this directive, shipping companies are expected to have holding
bays where their empty containers could be kept while waiting to be
taken into the terminals,” he said.