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Coming after the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has successfully registered trucks doing business at the ports last year; the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has started plans to take the process to another level with the target of freeing the port access roads.
In an interview, the Executive Secretary of the agency, Barr Hassan Bello said “The proposed reform is aimed at removing rickety and obsolete trucks that indiscriminately upturn and obstruct free flow of traffic on Nigerian roads while on transit especially along port access roads”.
“We discover that about 5,000 trucks come to Apapa ports every day but it is only about 1,500 trucks that are needed to do daily transaction in the port. Then, why are the other 3,500 in the port environment?
Therefore, trucks must have business to be allowed to come into the port.
Other angle of the emerging reforms is the partnership with the World Bank designed to find a sustainable solution to the persistent traffic in Apapa, by way of introducing a modern traffic management system.
Explaining more on the truck registration, Bello said “only registered truck companies with minimum of six trucks in their fleet will be allowed to operate in Nigerian seaports, because cargo carriage is a very serious business that requires healthy trucks”.
“For truck to qualify to operate in the port, the company must in addition to having a minimum of six trucks, have healthy trucks that can move on the road with limited or no hazards on the cargo on transit and other road users.
Part of the Shipper’s Council driven traffic management strategy include reviving the truck abandoned holding-bay in front of Tincan Island Port and transformation of NPA gate into a modern port gate and ensuring that only trucks that have business in the port are allowed to be around Apapa environment.
Bello also disclosed that many states are now keying into the Truck Transit Park policy of the Council, saying “We are also intensifying actions on building of modern truck transit parks that would utilise call up system”.
“Our Truck Transit Park would soon take off in Kogi, and the Enugu State government has also given us land in Obollo-Afor to build a transit park. We will pursue this rigorously because we believe that every local government area needs to have at least one transit park for truck operation and free flow of traffic as well.