November’ll test Apapa truck call-up success – Truckers - PUNCH
BY Stephen Agwaibor
The President of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, has disclosed that the reduction in gridlock along the Apapa-Tin Can axis is due to the newly implemented truck call-up system but warned that this will be put to the test in November when the festive season begins.
Ogungbemi said this while responding to questions on Apapa traffic management in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Tuesday.
He said, “The gridlock has decreased and movement is better now than it used to be before.
“This is due to the Truck Call-Up system which has helped to reduce the burden along Apapa and its environs.”
The Electronic Truck Call-Up System, known as ‘Eto’, was introduced in February by the Nigerian Ports Authority which it said was aimed at finding a permanent solution to the problem of truck congestion around Apapa and its environs.
The app is responsible for scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks into the ports.
Ogungbemi however cautioned that the real test of the system’s efficacy would be in November following the commencement of festive activities.
“Right now, traffic is less because not many cargoes are coming in and out of the ports. However, let’s see how things go by November towards the festive season. Then we will know for sure.”
He also spoke on the issue of extortion allegedly being faced by truckers. Ogungbemi said, “I can confirm that this is absolutely true. Extortion is still ongoing. However, it takes two to tango if you understand what I mean.
“Some of our truck drivers are giving in to pressure to pay bribes. However, we are leading a campaign urging them not to take part in this and we are hoping this can be resolved soon.”
However, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Transportation, and Head of the Traffic Management and Enforcement Compliance Team Apapa, Toyin Fayinka, debunked reports that members of the task force are involved in extortion.
Fayinka said, “People are extorting, no doubt about that; but who are those people? Not the task force. I’ve had cause to report some individuals to the governor with pictorial evidence. You shouldn’t point accusing fingers without pictorial evidence to back it up.
“Who are those extorting? Go there and verify. I want an interview where you can bring me on board, bring the truckers on board, bring the police on board, and verify.” He added that members of his task force were not involved in any form of extortion.