By Innocent Orok
As part of efforts to reduce the Apapa gridlock and strengthen the E-call up system, Marine and Blue Economy minister, Adegboyega Oyetola has set up a committee to review the E-call up system and come up with measures to ensure the current abuse of the system becomes a thing of the past.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the minister’s spokesman, Ismail Omipidan, on Wednesday morning, in Abuja. The committee is to review the Standard Operating Procedures for Truck Traffic Management along the Lagos port corridor.
Omipidan Ismail who noted that the committee was expected to meet with other critical stakeholders in Lagos on Thursday for the review, quoted the minister as saying “every possible abuse of the system by human should be x-rayed and solutions provided with a view to ensuring that it is abuse-free.”
Although, the E-call up system was introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in February 2021 for trucks at the Lagos Ports, which truckers are expected to use to book turns to enter the Ports, recent reports have suggested potential compromises in the functionality of this system.
“I have a number of suggestions on how I believe the system can be strengthened. But I want inputs from the stakeholders. This is why I have set up this committee to interface with the service provider and other stakeholders in the industry to come up with a best way of dealing decisively with the saboteurs,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has said that access roads leading to the ports in Nigeria play a pivotal role in the efficiency of the ports. To this end, he has appealed to the Minister of Works, Engineer David Umahi, to assist in undertaking an urgent comprehensive repair and maintenance programme for all dilapidated roads leading to ports in the country.
According to the Minister, the dilapidated access roads are making importers and exporters experience high transportation costs, prolonged transit times and heightened risk of accidents, adding that “all these issues cumulatively impede our national economic growth, discourage foreign investment, and hinder our international trade competencies.”
Oyetola, who personally delivered the message to the Works Minister on Tuesday evening, during his visit to the Ministry, listed 15 roads that require urgent attention.
The roads cut across Lagos Port complex, Tincan Island Port, Calabar New Port, Delta Port and Onne Port. Some of the access roads are: 1.6km dual carriage road within the Lagos Port Complex, 3km Tincan Island access road, 15.3km Eleme Junction -Trailer Park Junction Dual Carriage Way at Onne Port and 3.1km FLT-FOT Roundabout Single Carriage way , also at Onne Port.
The Works Minister appreciated Oyetola and commended him for taking the trouble to visit his office with the request. He promised to take the matter up without any further delay as he agreed with Oyetola that the fixing of the listed access roads would increase ports efficiency and aid the country’s economic growth.
To demonstrate commitment to his pledge, the works minister immediately requested his counterpart to nominate a representative that would be meeting with one of the directors in the Ministry of Works on Wednesday to devise means of carrying out the task at hand.