The Coordinator of the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), Mr. Moses Fadipe has called on members of the task team and stakeholders to help sustain the achievements of the team within 18 months in operation
He made the charge while speaking with our correspondent after a visit to the Western Port Police Commissioner, CP Jonathan Towuru on Tuesday.
Recall that the team was inaugurated 18 months ago ostensibly to execute the contents of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM) launched by the federal government in December, 2020
The documents contains the regulations to follow by government agencies and private operators to ease business in the port and to avoid additional costs to doing business as well as corruption.
Fadipe who recounted some of the achievements of the team including removal of 126 extortion points on the road, curtailing indiscriminate parking of trucks of the roads, removal of shanties, among other things, lamented the challenge of ETO which is not working well
He said the electronic call up system operators by the Nigerian Ports Authority was not working fully saying it was responsible for the high number of trucks on the port access roads.
On the trucks littering the port access roads, he threatened that PSTT in collaboration with Lagos state government would be towing such trucks.
“The PSTT is letting everyone come onboard, we still need their complete assurance because we need all the players to be onboard fully.
“The Port Police are the superintendent of the port, it is their jurisdiction to monitor activities within and outside the port, so they are one of our strategic partners. We have just come to awaken that spirit.
“We are looking at sustainability, we have seen that we can do it, the will is there, and we have done it, but how do we sustain it”
“If the ETO Call Up system is working fully as it should, there should not be any trucks littering the port Corridor, many of the trucks are on the road claiming that they have the call up. Henceforth the task team in collaboration with Lagos State Government would start towing away any truck on the roads with call-up” he said
Fadipe assured that the PSTT is taking steps to alleviate the suffering of motorists in Apapa due to the slow pace of roads constructions and the dilapidated portion of the Ijora bridge which is causing heavy traffic outward Apapa port.
The PSTT Coordinator also hinted that the team intends to begin engagement of truck drivers on clinics to train and re-train them on compliance.
“Everyday we are distributing fliers and speaking with the association heads, in no distant time, we are going to start organizing clinics for truckers,we are going to start meeting them where they are on the road, and not we calling them to come over”
“We would appeal to their conscience, ask them their problems and how we can assist them, I believe that with such a campaign, we would change the psyche of drivers within a short time, it is going to be continuous education”
Receiving the PSTT team, Towuru commended Fadipe and the team for the unrelenting efforts in sanitizing the port corridor.
According to him, some officials of Lagos State Ministry of Transportation recently came to the port to usurp the powers of the PSTT and even assaulted an NPA staff. He however said the police was able to intervene to the highest level.
“This should not be the case, that was why I wrote series of reports and the Lagos State Government scaled down the activities of that ministry”
Anyone that wants to operate legitimately at the port should come and identify with the police first” he said.
Also speaking, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Adeleke urged the PSTT to look into the traffic gridlock along Leventis to Marine Beach which is hindering exit outside the port.