To clear the gridlock at the Tin Can and Apapa ports in Lagos, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that 200 security officers would be deployed to the route.
The Minister, who spoke at a meeting with Maritime Stakeholders and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) in Lagos, said the security officers will also ensure trucks do not park on the roads.
According to a statement by the Minister’s Media Assistant, Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, the union had threatened to go on strike if the government failed to address the gridlock on the route.
The Minister, however, said that there should be a steering committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, to sit monthly until the challenges are overcome.
Other members of the committee would be drawn from the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council, MWUN, Federal Road Safety Commission, and Lagos State Government.
He directed the committee to write to the Inspector General of Police for more officers for the assignment.
“The issue of traffic on these routes is because in Nigeria we don’t discipline people. People do whatever they like even when it’s wrong because there is no consequence for our actions. We need security officers to enforce compliance on trucks blocking the road.
“100 men at Tin Can and Apapa to be stationed there every day because Nigerians don’t obey until there are consequences for actions. NPA, Shippers Council must have a level of funding to resolve these challenges.
“We need to talk to shippers and traders, especially those around Warri, to see how they can be using Warri port so that Lagos ports will be decongested. We can get security to follow the cargoes to that area, so that traders from Aba, Onitsha that are ready to use that port can go there.”
Speaking on behalf of the union, the Deputy Secretary-General of MWUN, Comrade Abudu Eroje, said that the union wanted to go on strike because of the hardship workers face every day trying to go to work because of the gridlock.
He said the union is now part of the implementation committee which took a decision that letters will be sent out to all relevant stakeholders giving them an ultimatum when all trucks must leave the road and go back to their various parks.
Eroje said a manual call-up system would commence before the electronic system until all access roads to Tin Can by Mile 2 are cleared.