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The Senate Committee on Works, Friday gave its parting recommendation on ending the Apapa traffic crisis, saying time has come for all the key maritime agencies including Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to give waivers to encourage use of other Eastern ports to decongest Apapa.
The Committee was in Lagos for an emergency meeting with stakeholders in Lagos as part of its parting oversight functions considering the fact that the life cycle of the eighth National Assembly is coming to an end next month.
However, the recommendation is coming more than six months after the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman had made it clear that the Authority has no powers to compel importer or exporter in choosing ports to use in doing its business.
She albeit averred that NPA will continue to provide level operating environments across all six ports in Nigeria so that importers and exporters can chose on their own where to use in doing their business.
The Committee called on NPA to speed up processes aimed at restoring traffic order amongst truck operators as it directed the Managing Director of the APM Terminal to appear before the National Assembly on Wednesday to resolve various concerns raised by stakeholders against the firm perceived to be part of the problem.
On the endless construction of the Apapa Truck Park, the Committee frowned at the snail speed in the delivery of the park and ordered its completion and handover to NPA for use latest May 2 or May 3 which is Thursday or Friday this week.
Earlier in his address, Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya, who led the delegation, decried that upon the number of announced government interventions, “it is a shame to all of us in Nigeria that this gridlock should continue.”
Other lawmakers in the delegation included Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, Sen. Clifford Ordia and Sen. Barnabas Gemade.
Stakeholders at the event included the Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Mr Hyginus Omeje, General Manager, LASTMA, Mr Wale Musa, the NPA General Manager, Security, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu, truck drivers unions, truck owners unions, shipping companies and terminal operators.
However, many of the stakeholders were surprised on why the lawmakers failed to query why the Federal Government had failed in the last four years to fix Apapa port access roads and associated highways considering the economic importance of the axis.
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