The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has suggested measures to ease the ongoing gridlock on the Lagos Ports Access Roads, even as it identified the genesis of the severe traffic congestion, which it said, has greatly affected its own operations.
The Deputy Comptroller Enforcement of the Tin Can Island Command of the Customs Dera Nnadi made the recommendations , when he represented the Zonal Coordinator, Zone A, Nigeria Customs Service , Assistant Comptroller General(ACG) , Chinwe Ekekeze at an event in Lagos centred on finding lasting solutions to the ongoing gridlock at the Apapa Roads .
He said there was a need for an effective communication approach between various Terminal Operators and the Presidential Tast Team on the Restoration of Law and Order (PTT- RLO) and the relevant security agencies , particularly in the area of the implementation of the Call- Up Sytem , through which trucks are called into the the Ports.
According to him, when it is the turn of a particular trucker to bring his truck into the Port , there should be a type of a consistent follow-up may be on phone between the operatives of the particular Terminal Operator and the PTT-RLO to make it easy for the truck to gain entry, as well as stop an other trucker who wants to enter the Ports illegally.
Nnadi also called on the contractors handling the various road projects in the Lagos Ports Access Roads , particularly , the Apapa-Oshodi Express Way to open up more alternative access to ease off the huge volume of vehicular traffic on the existing roads.
The DC said for instance, Tin Can Island Port Complex, which only access for now is the Liverpool Bridge, following the closure of the Liverpool Road, needed such additional alternatives , the dearth of which he disclosed, has increased pressure on other roads as well hiked haulage cost from the Port.
Nnadi also harped on the need to address the issue of integrity , among the various stakeholders , that have to do with the decongestion of the Roads, a factor , he said is very key, adding that the traffic challenge has also been affecting the operations of the Customs.
He spoke on the optimization of the available human resources for proper and effective management of the traffic, advising that the gridlock would come to a manageable level if the truck drivers were made to queue in an orderly manner, by one side of the road , and go into the ports when they are called to do so.
He advocated for a constant evacuation of empty containers by the concessionaires from their terminals, to create more spaces in their terminals and avoid imminent congestion at the nation’s seaports.
Nnadi also called for the streamlining of the activities of the barge operators, to know who they are and who uses their services,saying there must be regulation for sanity to be restored. He said those manufacturers who are qualified to use the Customs fast-track facility can also be made to use the barge services , so that there will be orderliness.
The DC blamed the major cause of the gridlock on the inability of the handlers of the concession programme to adeqtely manage issues that have to do with the common users facilities, and the lack of attention to the issue of proper management of the traffic in and out of the ports , sequel to the rise in the volume of cargo into the country , as a result of increase in population.