NURTW lists 2 reasons Presidential taskforce team cannot clear Apapa gridlock
The taskforce cannot succeed for two reasons. First, is corruption in the name of priority list which resulted in the collapse of the call-up system. Second is the absence of a truck transit park.
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It is no longer news that the Presidential taskforce set up to clear the Apapa gridlock has struggled to fulfil its mandate.
In fact, according to the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, the team has failed in its assignment since the traffic has barely abated and the trucks still line the bridges risking the imminent danger of collapse.
Vanguard reports that Senior Advisor to the President of NURTW in Lagos, Adamu Danzaki disclosed this on Tuesday during a sensitisation workshop on the proposed establishment of Truck Transit Parks, TTPs, across the country, organized by the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, and the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC.
According to Danzaki, the taskforce cannot succeed for two reasons. First, is corruption in the name of priority list which resulted in the collapse of the call-up system. Second is the absence of a truck transit park, TTP.
According to him, while truck drivers wait for their turns to be called up, those on priority list get unhindered access to the port after parting with some money.
He warned that the government must pay less attention to revenue it gets from the present situation and the extortion and focus on the future.
He said: “The government should not focus on revenue collection and extortion but focus on the future. The only way forward is to go back to the truck parked in Ogun State. You cannot remove Apapa port or Tin-can ports from where they are present. You cannot remove the tank farms from where they are also. We keep repeating and recycling what we have said, if you beat the driver or kill him, you cannot remove the tension in Apapa because of the gridlock.
“Day-in-day-out, the trucks are coming into the area. We made our own headcount and discovered that there are over 15,000 trucks coming into Lagos daily for their businesses. Lagos is the centre for business, it does not have land and, therefore, cannot expand. The only way out is to collaborate with the neighbouring states, that is the only solution.
“Even if you place one truck on top of another, there still would not be space for all the trucks coming into Lagos. The only way out is to move all the trucks from Lagos to Ogere and apply the call-up system.
“I am happy because some of these truck owners have their own parks, but the only problem is the extortion. They introduce what is called priority list, that priority list is just money they are collecting; they are collecting between N20,000 to N30,000 from each truck.
“A driver knows that he is going to stay there for a week, he will simply give the N30,000 and leave. It is you the grammarians that are the problem, you do not tell the people in government the truth. Go and tell Opeifa that I said it is not going to work, the efforts of the task force team to decongest Apapa, if he does not extend the operations to Ogun State. Tell him I said so,” he concluded.
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