The Senate Committee on Works has directed that the Apapa Truck Park under construction be completed and handed over to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for use latest May 3.
During an emergency meeting with stakeholders on Friday in Lagos on how to decongest the gridlock in Apapa, the committee advocated co-operation of various government agencies to make port operations easier.
Members of the committee chaired by Kabiru Gaya are Mao Ohuabunwa, Clifford Ordia and Barnabas Gemade.
It called for a multi sector approach between the NPA, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to give waivers to encourage use of other Eastern ports to decongest Apapa.
Also, the committee appealed to truck driver unions to come together and increase areas where they could park their trucks while calling on NPA to speed up processes aimed at restoring order.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the APM Terminal was summoned to appear before the National Assembly on Wednesday to resolve various concerns raised by stakeholders against the firm perceived to be part of the problem.
Sen. Gaya who led the delegation, regretted that in spite of various government interventions, “it is a shame to all of us in Nigeria that this gridlock should continue.”
After extensive deliberations, Gaya ruled that all forms of corruption causing the problems be nipped in the bud as the Buhari administration had zero tolerance for corrupt practices.
“We’ll set up a small committee within the next four days consisting of security agencies, customs, clearing agents and so on to give us a report within three days so that we can use that report and also implement that report.
“Because I know that the President, Vice President and everybody is concerned about how best we can get out of this national embarrassment,” he said.
“The Federal Government is trying to get more temporary parking spaces for trailers (articulated vehicles), therefore, the Tincan trailer park is being completed and we have ordered them to commission that park within the next one week,” he added.
He stressed the need for LASTMA to join hands with other members of the taskforce to restore order in Apapa.
The committee chairman assured that within two weeks the committee was going to take action if its orders were not enforced to restore sanity in Apapa.
Stakeholders at the event included the Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Hyginus Omeje, General Manager, LASTMA, Wale Musa, the NPA General Manager, Security, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu, truck drivers unions, truck owners unions, shipping companies and terminal operators.
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