Chinazor Megbolu |
The Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian’ Shippers Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello had said it will take infrastructural development intermodalism to tackle Apapa gridlock.
He explained that with growing trade volumes stretching facilities in and around the ports, there is need for commensurate development of infrastructure, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, in public forum at the weekend in Lagos, said the issue of perennial gridlock especially at Lagos ports is constantly creating difficulties in the locomotion of goods services within and out of the ports.
“The access roads to the ports ought to be expanded, while it has also become very important to link the modes of transportation for ease of cargo movement, to complete the trade chain, “he said.
Bello was sure that in March 2020 when the Lilypond Transit Truck Park would have been linked with the rails, gridlock would be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NSC, Engineer Jatto Adams, in agreement with Bello’s assertion, noted the only solution to curb gridlock is through intermodal transport system.
He explained that a technologically-driven model especially in the areas of waterways, rail, pipeline and the road would help to tackle gridlock.
According to him; “the truck drivers have to embrace technology through electronic call-up system to have an efficient system.
“A call-up system would be better managed by private operators, while the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) would ensure that only trucks with business at the ports are given access”.
Adams also hinted that even though the NPA had initially proposed to introduce a call-up system for trucks, but apologised that the management had since realised it ought to be handled by private organisations.
“People have to understand that there would be no lasting solution to the problem of port access roads until the alternatives which include railway, waterways and piping are optimal”.
“The trucking system also has to be technologically driven which brings us to the electronic call-up system”.
“We should have truck parks far from the ports and be able to call them electronically into the ports. This electronic truck call-up system is something that NPA is pushing for”.
“However, discussions are ongoing with Ogun State and Lagos State to have large portions of land available”.
“We believe that this process would solve the problem and we are open to receive the private sector investments and interested parties in this, “Adams said.
He, however, assured that for efficient port system come 2020, there will be more functional single window and electronic call-up systems.
“Gridlock would be a thing of the past and this is achievable in 2020 with the massive development of the railways and the re-construction of the roads,” Adams maintained.
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