NPA to sanction owners of trucks illegally operating around ports

The General Manager, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Western Ports, Chief Michael Ajayi, said that owner of any truck loitering along the ports access roads without an authority to load would be fined.

Ajayi, who stated this in Lagos yesterday, said owners of such trucks would pay a fine of N20,000.

He said that information gathered indicated that some trucks drivers parked along the ports’ access roads, hunting for customers.

“The moment we tow your truck loitering along port access road to our bay, you have to pay N20, 000 fine before it can be released. That is the cost of towing.

“NPA has been engaging in continuous dialogue with the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, on how to stop the problem of gridlock along the port area,” he said.

Ajayi said that ports in Apapa are facing traffic gridlock problem as a result of bad road, adding that some people were taking advantage of the situation do extort money from truckers.

NPA’s scientific survey on awaiting authority to load indicated that 35 trucks were hanging around Apapa area on Monday, Friday and Saturday, sourcing for clients, he said.

Ajayi said NPA has held several meetings with the Lagos State Government, adding that the state government was concerned about the gridlock on Apapa port access road.

Ajayi said the state government had taken a decision that trucks should be plying roads at night due to constant fall-off of container-laden trucks.

He said that the challenges of lighting and security truncated government’s effort in allowing movement of container-laden trucks at night.

Ajayi urged government to assist in providing maximum security for truck drivers to move at night.

He urged the Minister of Works and Housing to fast track the completion of the truck holding bay along Apapa/Tin-Can Expressway.

The Western Ports General Manager said the Senate Committee and the House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport also had vital roles to play in this regard. He said completion and availability of a truck holding bay would remove up to 300 trucks from the port access roads.

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