BY Wasilat Azeez
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, says the state government will deploy adequate towing vehicles to impound trucks parked illegally around the ports corridor from February 27.
A statement by Gboyega Akosile, chief press secretary to the governor, said Sanwo-Olu made this known on Tuesday, during a meeting with Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), at the government house in Alausa.
The governor, according to the statement, expressed optimism in the soon to be launched electronic call-up system, saying the move was the beginning of the end of Apapa gridlock.
With the new system, movement of trucks in and out of the Lagos seaports will now be organised through a transparent electronic call-up system that will be based on first-come-first-served basis.
“This is the beginning of a better journey time for our citizens within the Apapa seaports and environ. This electronic system has limited interface with security operatives and unions, which usually cause the gridlock problem. It will be a simple case of possessing electronic clearance. If you don’t have it, you don’t have any reason to be around the seaports,” he said.
“In enforcing the new regulations, we are deploying more than enough towing vehicles to impound erring trucks. The huge amount to be paid as fine for flouting the call-up system will be a deterrent for drivers not to repeat it.
“The stakeholders need to understand we are serious about ridding Apapa of the menace that has brought pains to our citizens living and doing businesses along the corridor.”
He noted that the state government plans to station 500 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to work together with NPA and enforce the new call-up regulation.
He further noted that the state was working out a collaboration between the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) and NPA to ascertain the road worthiness of trucks before leaving their stations to the seaports.
According to the governor, this would prevent truck accidents on the highways.
On her part, Bala Usman said the purpose of the visit was to brief the governor on the status of the electronic call-up platform before it would be fully implemented.
She also said part of the advantages of the new system was the creation of eight approved parks where all trucks must first be stationed before being electronically called into the seaports.