The Taskforce on the decongestion of trucks from roads leading into Apapa Lagos has given five-day ultimatum to container truck drivers to evacuate all roads in Lagos and return to the holding bays or be made to face the wrath of the law.
The taskforce, which met in Lagos on Wednesday warned that from Sunday September 23, the truck drivers should on their own, move to the holding bay established by the terminal operators or be forced to do so.
The chairman of the Taskforce and the Commander NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Okon Eyo, who spoke to journalists after a stakeholders meeting, said the decision was necessary to decongest the roads and open it up for other motorist to use.
He said, “Before now, we have been having series of meeting to see how these things could be resolved. Some of the things we will do is that we are going to return all empty containers that are on trucks now to the holding bays.
“Container trucks should no longer proceed directly to the port because that is not the best practice. From the holding bays, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and that of the terminal operators and shipping agencies should work together to generate call-ups.”
Eyo said that henceforth, “container bearing trucks should not just get to the roads and begin to access the port,” adding that, “the operatives on the road will be checking the call-ups to ensure that only trucks that were called would be on the road.”
He said that before now the holding bay was not ready and time had to be provided for the terminal operators to develop their holding bays, hence the decision that the trucks bearing empty containers must vacate the roads.
He said if the trucks failed to comply to the directives, they would be sanctioned, adding that “ I do not want to think that they will not comply because severe sanctions will be meted out on them.”
Eyo assured that respite was on the way for Lagosians who struggle day and night in the heavy gridlock on the roads.
Earlier, Commodore Eyo said the task force has put machinery in place for evacuation of trucks that refused to leave for the holding bay, saying that erring truck owners would have to pay huge fine before they can get their trucks back.
The Chairman of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, Ayoola Fatai lamented that the heavy traffic jam on roads inside the Local Government has crippled business activities in the area.
He offered 26 hectres of land in the area to the Federal Government to build a container staking terminal, but the offer was turned down by the Nigerian Ports Authority, who explained that it was not allowed to build such facility near an existing port as it would create more problems for the port.
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