The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has lauded the initiative of an electronic call-up system being facilitated by a private firm, FT Logistics Global Services in collaboration with the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) pledging to support the course.
General Manager, Security of NPA, Jamil Tahir made the pledge on Thursday at the introduction of electronic call-up system for truckers held in Lagos.
Tahir said NPA was ready to work with the firm to ensure that the process is successful, as it would go a long way in relieving the Apapa gridlock.
Chairman, Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO) Subairu Anataku also said the process can be implemented and achieved if all concerned parties play their role as expected of them.
He said shipping companies must ensure they make provisions for holding bay for their empty containers while the truckers must also have a holding bay for their trucks so that they will only be called upon when needed.
He however expressed reservations about how the firm plans to handle the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) issued by terminal operators in cases of network break down.
“I am just trying to make sure we don’t create problem by trying to solve a problem because the TDO is a technical issue. Once, they go into TDO now then it is expanding more than expected. In case there is a break down in network, how will they get the information?” He quizzed.
Earlier, Chairman of the firm, Chief Chris Orodo said the electronic call up system which will be implemented in partnership with Aulic Nigeria Limited and Interswitch has become imperative in order to ensure sanity in truck operations.
He said the initiative is designed basically to help address the perennial traffic gridlock along the port access road and ameliorate the suffering of not only truckers but importers and freight forwarders as a result of the chaos created by the gridlock.
He said the call up systems will also help truckers determine the number of trips they choose to do in a week and that according to him will encourage financiers to invest and provide needed funds for re-fleeting of trucks.
“Truckers will be able to do more trips and determine how many trips they want to go. Now, they are not sure of the number of trips every week because of the gridlock. The Nigerian trucker cannot re-fleet his truck because he does not have the money even if he has the money, how does he recoup it when the business environment is not conducive.
“But with the 24/7 internet access base electronic call up system, the trade fair truck park along with the vehicle access control system, and the support of all key stakeholders, we believe all these problem will be a thing of the past and every stakeholders will begin to rip the benefit of doing business,” he said.
He said the NPA has also advised the truckers to consolidate by ensuring that they register their trucks under one company instead of individual ownership in order to make it easy to control trucks accessing the port.
On how the firm plans to address the issue of TDO when there is network breakdown at the terminals, he said “Because we are going to be ground 24/7, in situation where there will be system breakdown, we will get our staff to capture the TDO details. Before the freight forwarders begin to access, we would make sure these TDO’s are in our platforms.”
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