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‘Best alternative for truckers’ is to comply with NPA’s Call up policy to end congestion’

First of all, establishment of rule of engagement, law and order before the commencement of operations are very important and usually tasking in every business environment.

The recent decision of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to take over the control of traffic in and out of the ports area from the Nigerian Navy was borne out of the need to maintain traffic sanity which had been eluding all port access roads and the Lagos port complexes.

Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) can report that the recent observation that no fewer than 3,000 containers are trapped inside the Lagos Port Complex Apapa as a result of the lock-down created by a new policy introduced by the NPA on the return of containers to the port can be said to be a fallout of not falling in line with policy directive by truckers.

It would be recalled that the NPA had before Monday last week, given notice to all truckers on the resumption of Call Up Policy in collaboration with terminal operators who never objected to the policy ab-initio.

This means that the policy was never sudden as reported in some quarters, rather, it was well planned and executed by NPA, but for the negative response of truckers’ who decided to protest midweek last week.

Findings from the NPA weekend showed that the agency not backing out from the new policy which is traduced to redefine truckers’ sanity along port access roads and within the port complexes for the good of others who also do their businesses at the ports.

According to the policy, all trucks must first go to a shipping company’s loading bay from where they are to be called into the port.

This is the global practice and not the other way round.

Besides, anybody claiming that the policy is contrary to the arrangement being implemented by the Nigerian Navy, should understand that the policy was well thought out to resolve the traffic crisis once and for all.

A top official of the NPA who spoke to Business Hilights on the matter on grounds of anonymity averred that “The claims that there is no modality on how to come into the port from terminal’s loading bay is wrong because there is what we called Call Up which will empower you to enter the port within a given time for a given job and leave also, within a given time to end congestion”.

Otherwise, “The NPA is saying that the terminal operators should give them the list of containers they want to load and number of trucks they are expected to load the previous day before they start coming the next day”.

The NPA official made it clear that the responsibility of managing traffic and movement in and out of the ports remains the core function of the NPA and the agency is introducing the global best practices to raise ease of doing business at the ports, especially in Lagos ports.