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Port task team set to clear port corridor of shanties, extortion points

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Segun OladipupoAs the federal government flagged off the second phase of ‘Operation Free the Port Corridor’ on Friday, it has said that all shanties, illegal checkpoints and indiscriminately parked trucks would be cleared along Apapa, Mile 2, Orile and Ijora axis The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki stated this  while flagging off the second phase of the Operation Free the Port Corridor’ in Lagos.She noted that any impediment to the implementation of ease of doing business in the port would be cleared along the corridor.According to the Minister, who was represented at the event by Umar Ofie, Deputy Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, all corrupt practices and illegal checkpoints would be eliminated by the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT).She said, “The enlarged Port Standing Task Team on assignment tagged: free the port corridor.

“The intention is to remove all illegal checkpoints and shanties along the corridor, it is also aimed at eliminating traffic and corrupt practices that are impediments to the ease of doing business in Nigerian Ports “The first phase was flagged off on April 22, 2022 by the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was ably represented by Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation to ensure the lingering issue of gridlock and corruption along the port corridor become things of the past“We commend the members of the PSTT for the tremendous achievements made so far in the assignments given to them“Consequently, the ministry is aware of the challenges of the enlarged presidential port standing task team due to inadequate logistics and operational needs for a more robust and implementation of the Operation of the PSTT mandate“According, the task team request is currently receiving attention by the ministry for consequent intervention and adequate intervention in logistics and personal needs of for seamless operation of the PSTT.“On behalf of the ministry, I declare the flag off ceremony openWhile speaking, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime recounted the successes and ordeals recorded during the first phase of the operations on quay and container examination sides.Jime stated that the 15.6 kilometres stretch of road would be rid of corrupt practices even as he exuded confidence that the team would also record successes in the area.“Earlier this year, I stood in the hallowed chamber of this Shippers’ Council to welcome you to the maiden flag off exercise and the flag off of the second phase is a story of the success recorded in the first phase“Operation Free Port Corridor is essentially aimed at ridding the port of inefficiencies and corrupt practices“To achieve this, the Port Task Team began it’s operation with joint boarding of vessels by different agencies where they enforced strict adherence to the contents of the Port Process Manual “With the success in the first phase, they moved to the terminals, they ensured joint examination of cargoes in compliance with NPPM“The successes recorded were not without dire consequences including resistance, intimidation, threats, lies and physical assault on the operatives of the team.
“There were assaults on personnel of the task team including the national Co-ordinator.“The second phase of the Operation the we are about to start will be covering Apapa, Tincan, Coconut,Berger Yard, Mile 2, Orile and Ijora axis“This is 15.6 kilometres stretch of road littered with shanties trucks parked indiscriminately, thereby causing untold hardship to other road users and creating avenues for extortion and other corrupt practices by both state and non-state actors“I therefore enjoin the Port Standing Task Team to continue.

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