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Apapa gridlock: Again, NPA, Lagos govt seek solutions

Apapa gridlock: Again, NPA, Lagos govt seek solutions

INSIDEMAINLAND – The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is optimistic that its renewed collaboration with the Lagos State Government will bring an end to the perennial gridlock within and around the Apapa metropolis.

Olaseni Alakija, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Lagos on Sunday.

According to him, the NPA management led by its Acting Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko has met with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to adopt measures to tackle the gridlock.

He said the gridlock affected the access roads leading to the country’s two busiest ports in Apapa.

According to the statement, measures will also be adopted to curb corrupt practices and alleged extortion of truck drivers by traffic and security operatives along the Lagos Ports corridor.

He quoted Mr Bello-Koko as emphasising the need to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws along the Apapa and Tin Can Ports roads.

Mr Bello-Koko said the NPA had been inundated with complaints of extortion from truckers, especially by security operatives demanding money from drivers before accessing the ports.

He described the practice as a major disincentive to the smooth implementation of the truck call-up system.

“One of the complaints of the truckers has to do with extortion by security operatives, the Army, the Police, the Nigerian Navy and even NPA Security staff.

“This is one of the areas we require the intervention of government, in this case the Lagos State Government, because we have police officers deployed from the State Command who are allegedly involved in this.

“We at the NPA have resolved to take the right punitive measures against any of our staff involved in this.

“We have moved some of them out of Port locations, and we will do further reviews; whoever is found involved would be appropriately sanctioned.

“Because of the involvement of several security units, many checkpoints have been created.

“We believe there are over 30 checkpoints within the Apapa and TinCan Port axis, and we believe that this is a major issue causing delays and a whole lot of problems, this was one of the concerns we raised at our meeting with His Excellency,” Mr Bello-Koko said.