Taskforce: ANLCA seeks sustainable resolution of Apapa gridlock
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA has said that nothing short of a permanent and sustainable resolution of all the issues that contribute to the perennial traffic jam experienced around the nation’s two biggest and busiest cargo seaports, the Lagos Ports Complex and Tin Can Island Port Complex, both located in Apapa would be accepted to stakeholders.
Recall that President Muhammadu had recently constituted the Presidential Task Force on Apapa gridlock, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, which gave truck divers 72 hour-ultimatum to vacate all access roads to the two seaports or face dire consequences, a directive that was not complied with as many of the trucks are still on the roads, especially Oshodi-Mile 2 Express Way.
National President of the association, Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike, who spoke in an interview in Lagos, commended President Buhari for extending the lifespan of the taskforce by two weeks but insisted that stakeholders would not accept an ad-hoc solution to the Apapa gridlock challenges.
He noted that successive governments have over the years applied temporary solutions to the issues around the perennial gridlock in Apapa which have not been sustainable; noting that it was high time government addressed the root causes of the gridlock such as poor and dilapidated road infrastructure, total absence of truck terminals and holding bays for empty containers.
According to him, the leadership of the association recently visited the Vice President in his capacity as chairman of the taskforce, where they highlighted all the issues including final and sustainable resolution of all the issues and not an ad-hoc thing.
“We visited the Vice President and we told him that the few available port access roads should be motorable, the trucks plying the roads must be regulated in terms of road worthiness and other issues including bottlenecks in port operation and cargo release must be addressed to enhance free flow of traffic”, he said
He also urged the government to ensure that the members of the current taskforce are closely monitored so that it does not end up like the other taskforce headed by the Nigerian Navy, which operations were marred extortions and other forms of corrupt activities..
It was gathered that the leadership of the association also visited the management of the Nigerian Shippers Council and other relevant bodies that are strategic to the work of the taskforce to make the input of the association towards a more sustainable resolution of all the issues.
He urged the government to do everything within its powers to make Nigeria’s sea ports efficient and competitive to checkmate the diversion of imported goods to neighbouring African countries.