The Senate has mandated the Senator Danjuma Goje-led Committee on Marine Transport to probe the implementation of the electronic call-up system of admitting trucks into the port terminal and allegations of extortion by port officials.
Despite the introduction of the call-up system by the Nigerian Ports Authority, the gridlock on major roads leading into and out of Apapa port has not abated.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government collaborate with the Lagos State Government to ensure the relocation of tank farms to other areas.
It asked private terminal operators to explore water transport as an option in the movement of containers, just as it urged the Federal Ministry of Works to commence the reconstruction and repair of all access roads to seaports, namely Apapa Creek road, Apapa Oshodi Expressway and Tincan Island.
Besides, the Senate directed its committees on Marine Transport, Works and Petroleum (Downstream) to meet the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, concessionaires, Nigeria Union of Petroleum Engineers and all other stakeholders to ensure resolution of pending conflicts and ensure synergy, among other stakeholders.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion titled: ‘Urgent Need to Tackle the Protracted Apapa Gridlock in Lagos and Embrace the Newly Introduced Electronic Call-Up system of Admitting Trucks into the Terminal’.
The motion was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu and co-sponsored by senators Solomon Adeola and Adetokunbo Abiru.
Presenting the motion, Senator Tinubu said: “The Senate notes with great displeasure the gridlock which has persisted on access roads to Apapa Seaport in Lagos and has, for many years, been a source of heartache for individuals and businesses plying the road.
“Senate is also aware that the gridlock has persisted due to the terrible condition of Apapa port, the concentration of Tank Farms in the area, indiscriminate parking of petroleum tankers and trailers wanting to load petroleum products from the tank farms and the racket created by persons benefiting from the chaotic situation.
“Senate is also aware that the tank farms attract thousands of trucks and tanker drivers who lift the petroleum products for onward supply to Nigerians who owing to the paucity of parking lots take up all the spaces on the road instead thereby causing traffic.
“The Senate is also informed that there about 40 tank farms in the Apapa axis alone. This over-concentration is disadvantageous because one accident could be the undoing of this very important aspect of the Federal Government highway.
“The Senate is also informed that the unpalatable situation has made the area a goldmine for unscrupulous persons and operatives who have gone on to create a racket profiting off the turmoil created.
“Senate decries the poor quality of port access roads, complex ports procedures and ineffective truck call up system among other factors contributing to delays, inefficiencies and gridlock in Apapa with a huge cost to Nigeria’s economy.
“The Senate notes that this gridlock has increased the cost of doing business, encourage illegalities and stiffen ports activities with its attendant negative impact on government’s revenue projections.
“The Senate is concerned that the roads leading to Apapa are characterised with so much traffic that people would rather walk than drive.
“The Senate is worried that this gridlock has continued to pose a security threat to the lives of innocent Nigerians as hoodlums exploit the situation to disposes motorists and passers-by of their valuables.
“The Senate is also worried that due to the deplorable state of the roads, and the number of trucks and containers on the road, there have been several cases of containers falling on smaller vehicles, killing innocent citizens while goods worth millions of Naira are also destroyed or stolen in these accidents.
“The Senate further notes that only recently, following allegations of extortion by security operatives posted to the area, the Presidential Task Force handed over the reins of managing the traffic situation to the Lagos State Government which in turn set up the Apapa Special Traffic Management…
“The Senate observes that the NPA recently introduced the electronic Call-Up system for admitting trucks into the terminal and to control the movement of trucks in and out of Lagos Seaports.
“The Senate is concerned that despite the well-intentioned initiative the chaotic traffic situation still lingers as tankers and trucks are still parked indiscriminately on the roads causing inconvenience to residents, commuters and business activities in the area.
“The Senate is also concerned that tankers have not been incorporated into the e-call up system and the areas where container trucks used to be stationed have now been taken over by the tankers.
“Bothered by the seeming discord among stakeholders in the implementation of the e-call up system, NUPENG representatives have reportedly stated that the initiative is not feasible not only because alternative parking lots have not been provided, but also because as a body, NUPENG is not subject to the authority of the implementing agency in the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“The Senate is further concerned that clearing agents and truck owners along the port’s access roads at the Tincan Island Port complex accused officials of the NPA, security agents and the police personnel who are deployed to manage traffic in the area of sabotaging the smooth operation of the newly introduced e-call up system by colluding with community boys, touts and miscreants who disregard official e-call up tickets to extort truckers.
“Senate notes allegations by industry operators such as the National Association of Road Transport Workers that human interference in the e-call up system continues to hamper resolution of the issues and compound the problem.
Apapa gridlock, an embarrassment
“The Senate, however, is saddened that the current Apapa gridlock has become an embarrassment to our nation and a sore point for maritime business along the Lagos and Tincan Island Ports corridor and also saddened that this has a huge impact on the ease of doing business in Nigeria, shipping and the final cost of goods.
“The Senate is further saddened about the diversion of Nigerian bound cargoes to neighbouring country’s seaports.
“Senate is however reminded being the country’s most valuable import and export gateway, and a high yielding revenue hub, Apapa port is currently raking in over N1trillion annually into Federal Government’s treasury through various taxes, levies and tariffs.
“The Senate is equally reminded that as a stakeholder in the success of Nigeria, we must ensure viable working systems and institutions that benefit the populace.”
Clergyman arraigned for allegedly raping, impregnating a minor
A clergyman, Rev Dr Theophilus Tarveshima, 45 was on Wednesday arraigned before a Makurdi Upper Area Court for allegedly raping and impregnating a 13 year old girl.
When the case came up, Police Prosecutor, Inspector Veronica Shaagee told the court that the case was received at state Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Makurdi from ‘D’ Divisional Police Headquarters, Gbajimba on October 6, this year.
She explained further that one Dooga Shuir of behind L.G.A Secretariat reported to Gbajimba Police Station that, he discovered that his.14 year old daughter, Doosuur Dooga was pregnant.
The Police Prosecutor said Dooga had told the police that when he enquired from his daughter Doosuur who was responsible for the pregnancy, she said that it is one Rev. Dr Theophilus Tarveshima of same address who got her pregnant.
She said Dooga explained further that his daughter disclosed that the man of God had sexual intercourse with her more than two times as a result of which she became pregnant.
The Prosecutor said during Police investigation, the said Rev. Dr. Theophilus Tarveshima was arrested for committing the offence.
Shaagee further said that the case was still ongoing and requested for time to complete it adding that the accused contrarvened Section 284 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State 2004.
However, the Magistrate, Mrs Rose Iyorshe granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 and one surety with a fixed address and adjourned the case to November 10th for further mention.
Iyorhse explained that the accused was granted bail because there was an accompanying affidavit with the First Information Report (FIR) that the informant (Mr. Dooga Shuir) was no longer interested in the case.
Lover ‘pushes’ girlfriend to death after seeing her with another man
The Bauchi State Police Command has arrested one Enoch Yohanna, who allegedly pushed his girlfriend, Ruth Amos, to her death.
The Spokesman of the Command, SP Ahmed Mohammed Wakil, confirmed the development in a statement.
Wakil in the statement on Friday said a patrol by detectives sighted the 28-year-old lady laying in a pool of blood with wounds on her head and blood gushing from her mouth at the Sabon Kaura area of Bauchi metropolis.
The statement said: “On 07/10/2021 at about 0445hrs a Joint patrol team in collaboration with the Peace and security committee while on visibility patrol sighted a young lady laying in a pool of blood with wounds on her head and blood gushing from her mouth at Sabon Kaura, the team evacuated the victim to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi, where medical doctor certified her dead. ”
“During the course of investigation, one Hajara Amos aged 56yrs of Bayara village was identified as the deceased mother and also identified the deceased as Ruth Amos aged 28yrs of the same address.”
The Command said the suspect will soon be profiled and charged to court.
Kidnappers snatch woman’s car with her two kids in Akure
Police in Ondo State on Saturday said two little girls of nursery and kindergarten classes had been kidnapped in Akure, the state capital, and their mother’s car stolen by the suspected kidnappers.
Police Public Relations Officer in Ondo State, Funmilayo Odunlami, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the abduction took place on Friday night.
She said the mother had parked the car in front of her house around 8pm when they returned from an outing, and went out to open the gates, leaving the two kids in the vehicle.
Odunlami said, “Another car with three occupants suddenly drove up to her; some of the occupants collected her car keys and drove her car away with the kids inside.
“The anti-kidnapping section of the police is already on the trail of the assailants to rescue the two kids and recover the car.”
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