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Apapa gridlock: NPA begins truck e-call up in January

Hadiza Bala Usman, MD, NPA

Paul Ogbuokiri

Indication at the weekend is that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is set to commence electronic call up of trucks into the Lagos ports in January 2021.

This Sunday Telegraph learnt this is aimed at bringing to an end the perennial gridlock that has crippled economic activities in the port city of Apapa which houses Nigeria’s and West Africa’s two biggest seaports; the Apapa Port and Tin Can Ports complexes.

Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman gave this assurance to stakeholders during the recent visit of the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amacehi to the Tin Can Island Port to have first-hand information on the crippling congestion in the port that has caused cost of haulage skyrocketing by about 1000 per cent.

Ms Bala-Usman disclosed that the NPA is working with the Lagos State Government to create truck  parks at designated areas in the state, adding that the state is planning to provide a designated truck park at Orile, where trucks would park until their cargoes are cleared electronically before the could proceed into the ports.

“We are planning to deploy an e-call-up system in January 2021. We will provide an electronic call-up system within the ports and designated truck parks. No more random parking of trucks on the roads, we are going to have a designated trucks’ park, when you are called upon, you can enter the port.

“The electronic call-up system will be across all platforms on phones. You can monitor when the consignment arrives and when you have been assigned to pick up your cargo. The e-call up will also remove human intervention and eliminate corrupt practices,” she stated.

The Minister had inspected the Tin Can Island Terminal in Lagos, in a bid to resolve the persisting congestion at the port.

Amaechi was accompanied on the visit by Ms Bala-Usman and the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello.

He stressed the need for an urgent solution to the gridlock so that sanity could return on the port access road.

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