The plan by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to commence electronic truck call-up system by the end of August has suffered a major setback, which could further delay the commencement of the project for months.
NPA had in April assured industry stakeholders that it would begin automation of the call-up system in August as part of effort to ease the traffic congestion on the port access roads.
However, as the month of August gradually winds up, indications are rife that the agency would not be able to commence the project as planned.
Speaking to SHIPS & PORTS in Lagos on Monday, NPA spokesman, Adams Jatto, attributed the delay in the take-off of the electronic truck call up system to the non-completion of the Tin Can trailer park and failure by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to officially handover the park to NPA.
While assuring that the project is ongoing, Jatto said the agency has commenced the procurement process for private investors that would to manage the Tin can trailer park.
He said, “We couldn’t get it done in August because we had issues. The Tin Can trailer park was not handed over to us as at the time of the then Minister of Power, Works and Housing. That delayed it a bit. We have actually started the procurement process because we want to engage private sector to run the park and that is what we are still doing.
“As at the time we gave the timeline, the ministry of Power, Works and Housing said they will hand over to us in May, so we thought that by the time they will hand over to us in May, we should be able to complete the procurement process, which is why we gave the timeline for August.
“But as we speak, they have not completed it but we just have to move to the place when the task force came up and the gridlock was getting out of hand. The task force just had to force our way into the park because they (Ministry of Power, Works and Housing) kept on telling us that they have not finished because they are still working on the shoreline. It has not been properly handed over to us but to ease gridlock around the area, that is why we are making use of the place temporarily now by those who have our manual call-up system.”
When asked if he could put a time frame to when the electronic system would eventually commence, Jatto said, “This is the first time we are investing in this kind of project, hence, there is need for us to be careful to ensure that we engage the right persons to get the project through so I cannot give a time frame but the project is still in top gear.”
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