Senate Committee seeks waivers to decongest Lagos ports
The Senate Committee on Works has called for a multi-sector approach between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to give waivers to encourage the use of other Eastern ports to decongest the Lagos Ports complex.
The committee, during a meeting with stakeholders in Lagos, also directed that the Apapa Truck Park, which is currently under construction be completed and handed over to NPA for use latest May 2 or May 3, which is tomorrow or Friday.Led by Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, the committee advocated co-operation of various government agencies to make port operations easier.
Gaya condemned extortion of truck drivers, and urged the law enforcement and traffic regulatory agencies to investigate and punish erring officers, while appealing to truck drivers’ unions to come together to decongest the roads, and called on NPA to speed up processes aimed at restoring order.
The committee however summoned the Managing Director of the APM Terminal to appear before the National Assembly on Wednesday, to resolve various concern raised by stakeholders against it. He said despite various government interventions, “it is a shame to all of us in Nigeria that this gridlock should continue.”
After extensive deliberations, he charged that all forms of corruption causing the problems be nipped in the bud, noting that the Federal Government had zero tolerance for corrupt practices.“We’ll set up a small committee within the next four days consisting of security agencies, Customs, clearing agents, and so on to give us a report within three days so that we can use that report and also implement that report.
“Because I know that the President, Vice President and everybody is concerned about how best we can get out of this national embarrassment,” he said.He added that the Federal Government is constructing and maintaining roads and addressing the problems of overstretched infrastructure, and called for the support of the Lagos State Government in patching potholes on the roads.
“The Federal Government is trying to get more temporary parking spaces for trailers (articulated vehicles), therefore, the TinCan trailer park is being completed, and we have ordered them to commission that park within the next one week,” he said.He stressed the need for LASTMA to also join hands with other members of the taskforce to restore order in Apapa, while assuring that within two weeks the committee was going to take action if its orders were not enforced.
NAN had reported that Director, Highways, South West, Funsho Adebiyi, had decried the indiscriminate parking of trucks on the bridges in Lagos, which he said were not designed for static loads. Adebiyi said the bridges were endangered while lamenting other forms of abuses, which included building under them, and other activities that had caused fire that damaged some of them.He therefore called for attitudinal change among Nigerians toward protection of the nation’s road infrastructure.
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