The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it will commence the electronic call up system at Lagos ports in August this year even as it said that what it has deployed presently is manual call up system which serves as temporary measure.
The Traffic Manager, Lagos Port Complex and member of the Presidential Task Team on Decongestion of Apapa Traffic, Mr. Victor Ogini who disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the media tour of the ports access roads in Lagos on Friday said that the electronic call up system was undergoing procurement processes and would be deployed in August.
In his words,” The manual call up system is the one that we deployed now but that is a temporary one. The ultimate is the electronic call up system which my management is taking seriously. It is undergoing procurement process as we have had before and will be deployed in August this”.
Ogini revealed that he had been receiving notifications from shipping companies which had shown interest in receiving their empty containers in their holding bays from where they would now convey them to the ports following the achievements recorded on the Apapa port access roads by the Presidential Task Team in the last two week.
“This was not possible but they have seen this window of opportunity. In fact, on my way here, I have received another application from a bonded terminal, showing interest that, look, with this window of opportunity, they want to start moving. The end benefit of this is that all this individual returning empty containers that you see, they will no longer be heading towards the port, they will rather go to shipping companies empty container holding bays.
“This is the goal that government wants to achieve because in all developed areas of the world, individuals do not return empty containers to the port, it is the shipping companies that will now collate these empties and have a scheduled return to the port to meet the ship that is at berth. With this, my believe is you won’t see all this gridlock again. So, this is one of the achievements of this task team, restoring law and order. Once law and order is restored, everybody will queue behind it and things will go as scheduled and planned.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello corroborated the position of the NPA on electronic call up system adding that “The call up system, manual at first will be decided in a week or so time whereby trucks are called only when they are needed so that not everybody will rush to Apapa and from there we migrate to electronic call up system”.
He observed that the NPA was a lead agency on this and that all the concerned parties including the shipping companies and the terminal operators were involved even as he added that they would start meeting next week Tuesday to articulate this.
According to him,” Already, some terminals have their own call up system. So, we have to latch on such programme. So, this simplification of procedures and processes will help in easing the traffic congestion.
“We have holding bays, we have the trailer park, they are going to be available. The Lillypond has already started courtesy of NPA and this will of course militate against the traffic overflow on roads leading to and from the port. We have also private parks, Shippers’ Council has been able to identify about 54 of them, some will be put to use and once we have combination of all these, then , you will see that we will have sanity on the road”.
Photo: Managing Director, NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman.
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