Trucks not parked within the eight approved truck parks would no longer gain access into Lagos Ports from February 27, as part of reforms that would come with the deployment of Eto App for the management of truck traffic into the ports in Lagos, Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has said.
Speaking in Lagos on Monday during a virtual interactive session with Maritime Correspondents, she disclosed that arrangements have been put in place to ensure the full deployment of Eto App on the scheduled date and the implementation of all the requirements as planned without hitches.
This means that from February 27 when the NPA is expected to deploy the Eto App, residents and businesses within the Apapa Port corridor, would have a breath of fresh air as there would be likely relief from its perennial traffic congestion caused by trucks driving without control or parking indiscriminately within Apapa port corridor.
According to her, the authority has also empowered officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LATSMA) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to impound any truck found to be parked indiscriminately on Apapa roads starting from February 27.
“Some of the issues that we have seen over the years is the inability to have designated truck parks, but we have now eight approved truck parks that have signed up to the call-up system. The NPA carried out advertisement for interested private park owners to apply and we have been able to select eight qualified parks,” she said.
BusinessDay understands that these parks are located in areas like Ojota, Obanikoro, Oregun, Olowotedo-Ibafo, Amuwo-Odofin, Orile-Iganmu and Okorisan-Lekki/Epe, and they have the capacity to sit up to 2,000 to 3,000 trucks.
Usman said that going forward, trucks must be called upon using the electronic call-up system before it could gain access into the port, and that all trucks would be moved away from the port corridor to be parked at the truck parks.
“It would be done transparently on first come, first served.
Truckers are expected to download the Eto App to sign-up. We have also requested for the operator to have a dashboard in front of port locations where movement of trucks would be displayed for truckers to see their schedule for the day,” she said.
Usman, who pointed out that the authority is working with the Lagos State Government to ensure compliance and in selection of truck parks, further said that the State Government would be in charge of impounding trucks that are not part of Eto App, and such trucker, would be made to pay certain amount for the truck to be released.
On export cargo, she disclosed that Lilypond would serve as export processing terminal, where exporters would be required to consolidate their export cargo, have room to complete the necessary documentation before moving the cargo into the port for export.
On empty containers, she said that consignees would now be required to drop empties at the holding-bay of shipping companies, and the shipping liners would now be responsible for taking empties into the port.
According to her, compliance to the empty container policy would going forward, be part of the requirements for the annual validation of shipping liners that would be licensed to call Nigerian ports.