…Police, LASTMA overwhelmed
By Godwin Oritse & Godfrey Bivbere
DESPITE efforts by various stakeholders in the maritime industry to free the port access roads of the perennial gridlock, the situation has defied all solutions, as criminal elements, aided by some government officials and security agents, have hijacked the control of traffic in the Apapa axis.
Confirming the development, the President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMATO, Mr. Remi Ogungbemi, said that saboteurs have hijacked the newly introduced electronic Call-Up System, thereby truncating the state government’s efforts at restoring sanity to the port corridor.
Ogungbemi said: “The uncoordinated entry and exit of vehicles in and out of the ports have remained a challenge. There is a need to return to the drawing board and re-strategise.”
Similarly, the Chairman, Containerised Truck Owners Association of Nigeria, COTOAN, Yaqub Kolawole, accused some stakeholders, in conjunction with officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, of altering the e-Call-Up ticket to beat the system.
Kolawole said: “There is a need for the creation of an electronic gate at the port to ensure that only trucks with authentic e-call up tickets are allowed in, as the human element in the process is presently being abused.
“The present system is a disservice for law-abiding truckers who stay in the holding bay waiting to be called in through the e-call up system. Unless urgent measures are put in place to correct these abnormality, the chaotic traffic situation will be escalated.”
Police, LASTMA overwhelmed
Meanwhile, the perennial traffic along the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Lagos seems to have overwhelmed the Police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LATSMA, as the situation has remained unabated despite several measures put in place to ensure the free flow of traffic along the axis.
Despite yesterday being a public holiday, the traffic started building up at Fatgbems, leaving road users held up in the traffic.
Also, the chaotic traffic situation nosedived, yesterday, as commuters had to alight from commercial buses and had to either take commercial motorcycles also known as okada or trekked to their respective destinations.
Though some traffic officials comprising policemen and LASTMA were sighted at Fatgbems junction, the expression on their faces was that of exhaustion and frustration, as they tried to control both trucks and other vehicles from the service lane and expressway to their respective lanes.
Motorists were trapped from the Fatgbems junction to Mile 2 for hours.
Some motorists, who were chauffeur-driven, had to alight from their vehicles to trek long distances.