Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, says the endemic Apapa-Oshodi vehicular gridlock has reduced by 80 per cent with the incremental deployment of the electronic call-up infrastructure for cargo trucks (known as “Eto”), launched in February this year while the agency keeps reviewing and improving on it.
Bello-Koko made the disclosure when he featured as a guest on a breakfast programme, monitored in Lagos, he explained that while the Authority is not unmindful of the pains of Apapa residents, what remains is to address the gridlock caused by the failed portion along the Mile 2 – Tin-Can Port road.
He insisted that as soon as the entire stretch of the Tin-Can Port highway is completed, the perennial gridlock within Apapa would be completely eliminated and affirmed that “after this, we will fully deploy the ‘Eto’ call-up infrastructure for trucks along the Tin-Can Port corridor”.
Debunking insinuations that the ‘Eto’ system has been compromised, the NPA helmsman explained: “the ‘Eto’ truck booking system was launched in February, and when I assumed office my first act was to carry out a comprehensive review of the system and we directed the system manager to immediately address all areas of deficiencies.
These infrastructure upgrades coupled with the support of the Lagos State Government and other stakeholders, the vehicular gridlock along the Ijora – Apapa axis had reduced by over 80 percent and am sure residents of Apapa can attest to this”, he added.
He further said that the Authority has fully embraced multimodal transportation by encouraging better use of barges and port-rail, for the movement of laden and empty containers in and out of the ports, a development that has brought significant reduction in the cost of doing business at the ports.
According to him, as part of efforts to kick-off the electronic call up system, a fully automated transit truck park was established while 29 satellite parks were approved to ensure that trucks coming to do business in the port are properly profiled and verified before accessing the port.
Out of the 29 parks, about eight have met the required standards, which include installation of bollards, CCTVs, automated gate systems and relevant IT equipment.