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Truck owners groan over increasing Apapa gridlock

By Kunle SHONUGA

The Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, has said the gridlock on Apapa port access road is increasing and adversely affecting haulage.

Ogungbemi said in Lagos on Monday that many directives by government agencies in controlling the gridlock had not helped the situation.

According to him, the traffic congestion has become a national embarrassment and a solution to it should be the priority of all port users.

“Apapa traffic has become a perennial problem with no solution in sight.We have had orders from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and other agencies, to no avail.

“The trucks are still there for days and weeks; either waiting to be loaded or to drop empty containers.

“My members are the ones at the receiving end; as they waste several man-hours daily.Their trucks could no longer make several trips a week as they managed to go only a trip per week,’’ Ogungbemi said.

He added that the situation was affecting the Presidential directive on Ease of Doing Business at ports.

Ogungbemi advised the stakeholders to stop the blame game and come up with a practicable template to solve the problem.

He said the solutions to the traffic problem would be enforcement and attitudinal change on the part of all port users.

According him, if all agencies and stakeholders at ports can come together and brainstorm, there will be lasting solutions to the traffic problem.

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