…as trucks waiting time moves from two weeks to 60/90 hours
BY JOYCE OKOLI & EZINNE AZUNNA
Road construction at a three-entry point into the port is currently hindering the free flow of traffic on the Apapa Port Corridor, managers of the ETO Call up system have said.
Chief Operating Officer of Truck Transit Parks (TTP) Mr Temidayo Adeboye during a press briefing on Thursday in Lagos explained that the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) management has taken up the matter with the Federal and Lados State Government.
He said that NPA had in a recent meeting requested for palliatives on the road to reduce the intensity of the chaos.
He disclosed that turnaround time of trucks on the Lagos ports corridor has improved from two weeks to an average of 60 to 90 hours since ETO began.
We gathered that since the deployment of technology, waiting time for reefer trucks, flatbeds, empty and export trucks has shortened, also human interferences and cases of extortion.
“There is no more extortion on the Apapa access corridor except it is coming from a willing giver who wants to beat the system. But right now, it is hard to beat the system so there is no point paying anyone money. In the past it was possible but right now, we can use technology to stop them. Nobody will extort money from you if you have your ticket. The technology is working perfectly on the Apapa corridor,” he said.
The COO said Oil and Gas tank farms and their trucks that are not onboard ETO platform contributes to the huge traffic along the Mile 2 and Tin-Can Island Port.
Issues of extortion, the TTP management said still lingers on the roads only because some truckers would rather bend over the rules than wait for their turns while others use the road as parking spaces.
He stated that ETO is working on getting major independent oil marketers onboard so as to have control of the traffic in Apapa.
“The aim of our journey into this project is to maintain sanity caused by indiscriminate parking of trucks and tankers on the road.
“We went into looking for possible way to house all these trucks and make it easy for people to pass, and so the need to get parks.
“In trying to address the traffic, we found out that NPA had 50 per cent of the traffic; oil and gas, 30; Fast moving consumer goods and others 20 per cent coupled with the extortion going on at the port corridor,” he said.
Adeboye also debunked news making rounds that the Electronic Call up App has been hacked.
“The ETO App has never been hacked since we began implementation nine months ago. We have very good security features on it. The only thing that has happened is people taking our ticket in the past to business centres to go and edit.
” But we have found a way around it such that even those edited tickets cannot gain access into the port. We have used technology to remove human interface and the more we perfect this with the technology deployed it has cleared everything and the system will work better.
The COO however urged stakeholders to be complaint and orderly so as to make the system effective.
“Today, trucks must enter the transit parks to be able to access the port and we are using timing belt to batch and schedule different categories of trucks.
“This is partly the reason why trucks that pay their ways to the port do not have access because the access barriers will not open for them”, he stated.
We report that even though prior to the electronic system, trucks paid between N100, 000 to N150, 000 to access the ports, it now cost between N15, 000 to N25, 000