The Amalgamation of Truck Owners in the Maritime Industry has lauded the Nigerian Navy for the steps it took in addressing gridlocks in Apapa area of Lagos.
The group’s Publicity Secretary, Oluwaseyi Taiwo, in an interview with reporters in Lagos said that the steps had restored sanity and brought great relief to residents and motorists.
As part of measures to end the gridlock, the Nigerian Navy introduced a “Call up Card System” for the trucks loading at Apapa ports.
The call-up card system allows only trucks that have business inside the port, while those without call up cards were turned back at the foot of the bridge.
In commending the efforts of the Navy, Taiwo noted that the order had prevented mischief makers from taking advantage of the chaotic traffic situation.
He said, “We hereby commend the intervention of the navy which made the impossible to be possible, such that respite can come within a week.
“Although the intervention may not be a permanent one, it is a big relief to the road infrastructure in the state.
“It is also a relief to everyone, but it is not over yet as there is still room for improvement.
“I am also commending everyone that contributed to the compliance – the police, LASTMA and others – for bringing sanity to Apapa and its environs.”
Taiwo called on the government to look beyond the temporary solution to a permanent one by providing truck parks and automated loading system for truck owners.
He said, “Eighty to ninety percent of the trucks coming to Lagos State have their own parks outside the state, but getting to Lagos, they need a place to park, like a transit park.
“There should be provision for a parking place for those coming into Lagos to park their trucks; this will discourage parking on the roads.
“Also there should be an automated loading system that will serve as call-up system to inform the truckers when they have their appointment to load.
“In this age of GSM, things should be easier and people should be able to access their loading time through automation, this will reduce stress on the drivers too.”
He also urged the government to repair roads leading to the port, adding that many drivers were frustrated due to the stress they encountered on the roads.
He said, “Frustration can lead to anything, so we are also advising the government to consider repairing the roads which are the gateway to the nation’s economy.”
Taiwo added that the union had in the past purchased some landed properties with the aim of converting them to Transit Park, among other efforts.
He said, “We on our own part have not left the issue of getting a place for our trucks to park to government alone; we have purchased land around the ports.
He said that the organization was awaiting government’s approval on the purchase of a land in Orile area which could accommodate about 2,000 trucks.