Chinazor Megbolu |
The Vice Chairman, Presidential Task Team, Mr. Kayode Opeifa had blamed the absence of Data as the major cause of gridlock in Apapa ports.
He explained the gridlock daily experienced by commuters is as a result of lack of data on trucks operating at the ports and planning by terminal operators.
Opeifa stated this during a seminar organised by League of Maritime Editors and Publishers at the weekend in Lagos.
He explained that the absence of data of the number of trucks operating at the ports was a major problem that has negatively affected efficiency of port operations in Lagos.
Opeifa pointed out that in-fighting among the terminal operators and the truck drivers is additional problem leading to gridlock.
He praised his team for doing a laudable job at the ports since inception.
According to him, “my Task Team has done well in the issue of gridlock in the Lagos ports”.
He however noted that the major problem the Team duty faced was finding data from the terminal operators because it was important for proper planning and was surprising that those who operate data never wanted to reveal them.
Opeifa also identified that competitiveness between the terminal operators and truck drivers is another major cause of gridlock being witnessed at Apapa ports.
“The bane of the traffic gridlock is that there is no data. Those who have data aren’t willing to share it, while others don’t have this data,”. “When people say there has been no improvement in the traffic situation, they may be wrong if the claim isn’t backed with data.”
“You need data to be able to measure performance and verify if things are getting better or worse. You need data to know the number of trucks transiting the route on daily basis”.
“You need data to know the category of trucks that enter the ports and terminals. This data would also help in planning the call-up system and input into technology.”
“We have about six terminals at Apapa and Tin Can port environs doing the same business. For instance, in order to access Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL), you take the same route that leads to AP Moller and they both deal in the same products”.
“BUA, Honeywell, Dangote are also competitors but the competition ought to be in the market and not at the ports, “he said.
He further stressed that truckers are always struggling to get ahead of each other and in the process short-change the system.
According to him; “you find someone who ought to be at the port by 12noon comes in before 10am and obstructs someone who has consignment to pick by 11am. There is only one entrance to the ports so this becomes a huge challenge.
“Sometimes GDNL truckers want to access the terminal but it is blocked by AP Moller and it could be the other way too”.
Opeifa, however, frowned at the rivalry amongst operators and advised that it ought not to exist at the ports because the market is huge enough to contain their products.
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