Why Apapa Traffic Gridlock Defies the New Electronic Call Up System

The well publicized electronic call up system (ECU) which was celebrated as quite innovative in solving the intractable traffic situation in and around the Apapa Ports seems to have failed after one month of relative success. According to sources at the Ports, the present traffic gridlock being experienced along the Mile 2 end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway leading to the port access road is due to the inability of truck drivers to adhere to the call up time table prepared for trucks to go the pre-gates before entering the ports.

The time table drawn up as part of the ECU system for five categories of vehicles to enter the ports had been drawn up and sent to all relevant stakeholders with a view to getting their cooperation and ease the traffic situation in and around Apapa.

An operator at the Transit Truck Park Limited said that the categories of vehicles that the time table is applicable are trucks carrying export cargoes, flatbeds, truck carrying empties containers Reefer trucks and general cargo trucks. The trucks carrying empty containers are to book their onward movement from 6 : 0.0 p m up till 12 : 00 a.m. as movement to pre- gates commences between 10:00-4:00 p .m before they are allowed into the ports.

For flatbeds, (that is long carriage trucks), are supposed to book their movement to pre-gates between 12 noon and 6:00 p. M, while they are also supposed to move into the port to load between 4:00 a. m and 6: 00 a. m and a second window for between 10:00 a. m and 4:00 p. m, and 8:00 p. m and 10:00 p.m.

Between 12noon and 3:00 p. m, export cargoes are to book their movement to the pre-gates and after which they move to pre-gates between 10:00 p. m and 4:00 a. m to the ports to discharge their cargoes.

For fish imports, trucks are scheduled to make their bookings to pre-gates between 6: p. m and 12midnight and movement to pre-gates commences at to the port to load between 4: a. m till 7:00 a. m, while general cargo trucks are billed to book their entrance to the pre-gates at 12noon till 6:00 p. m for their onward movement from the pre-gates to the port at 12 midnight till 4:00 a. m.

The Association of Maritime Trucks Owners, AMATO has lamented the failure of the system and called for the restructuring of the entire port industry.

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