In a statement made recently by Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), as part of efforts in addressing the challenges at the Apapa road gridlock, the shipping companies at the Lagos ports have come to an agreement to extend the free period of demurrage from the initial 5 days to 10 days.
This was disclosed on Friday in Lagos by Bello, who saw the new extension as a sacrifice by them. In case you didn’t know, demurrage is extra charge made and money collected as tax for goods or a ship that have overstayed an alloted time-period in the ports or wharf.
When the parks for trucks are fully operational, it would put an end to the traffic gridlock in Apapa
"There are a lot of sacrifices being made. NPA has been on the issue for a very long time. Shipping companies have also made sacrifice. They have extended the demurrage free days from five to ten days and they still could do better. We are expecting them to have 12 days demurrage free period for 90 days. I think that will also make people not come out at once to deposit the empty containers."
He further said:
"Of course, the truckers; we need them to be disciplined. That is the human angle I am talking about because without discipline, we cannot achieve anything."
Hassan Bello revealed that 54 private parks have been identified by the NSC, which includes the Lilypond truck park picked by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as terminals for truck, in a bid to ensure orderliness in Apapa and surrounding areas.
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According to him, sixty percent of the gridlock is as a result of absence of traffic management and discipline. He further disclosed the efforts of the NPA in bringing a manual call-up system to be succeeded next month by the electronic call-up system.
Many efforts have been channelled into eliminating the frustrating Apapa gridlock by NSC and federal government
The NPA is leading on this and all the concerned parties that are involved, shipping companies, terminal operators, they will start meeting Tuesday (today) to articulate this. Already some terminals have their own call-up system, so we have to latch on such programme.
So we are appealing to the truckers to follow the procedures, the call-up system, manual at first, will be decided in about a week whereby trucks are called only when they are needed so that not everybody will rush to Apapa. From there, we will migrate to electronic,”
The infrastructural problem as disclosed by Bello has negatively affected traffic free flow and such has been effectively addressed by the federal government. He believes Apapa gridlock will not exist the very moment the parks for trucks are made available and functional.
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We have the issue of infrastructure, the process itself and the human angle. For the infrastructure, you have seen the roads being constructed; the moments we have that, most of the problems will go.
The processes; we have the holding bay, we have the trailer parks, and they are going to be available. Lilypond has already started courtesy of NPA and this will mitigate the traffic overflow on roads leading to and from the port.
We also have private parks. Shippers’ Council has been able to identify 54 of them. Some will be put to use and once we have combination of all these, then you will see that we will have sanity on the road,
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