Lilypond trailer park electronic truck call up system to start in August
The Nigerian Ports Authority has disclosed that the proposed electronic truck call up programme for the Lilypond trailer park will go into full operation by August.
The government agency also said the e-call up system would be deployed to link Lilypond with other trailer parks around the Apapa, Tin Can Island environs.
Recall that the NPA had in 2019 mulled the idea of deploying e-call up system for the trailer park situated at Ijora to facilitate orderly and fast movement of trucks around the busy area.
The daily attempt by trucks to access the terminal led to a confrontation with the Lagos State Task Force in 2019, and the subsequent destruction of property resulted in the NPA shutting down the terminal.
In April, the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, Remi Ogungbemi disclosed that the terminal had been handed over to a private firm, Truck Transit Park Nigeria Limited.
This was in addition to the Tin Can Island trailer park which was also handed over to MOB Integrated Services Limited, another private investor.
The Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman said that the electronic call up system linking Lilypond and other trailer parks around the environ would be in place in two or three months time.
She said, “We recently concluded the operational modalities for lilypond terminal to engage and deploy e-call up system linking the lilypond trailer park with other trailer parks within the environ.
“This call up system should come into operation within the next two or three months.”
Bala-Usman said the government was deploying multiple approaches towards easing the traffic congestion along the Apapa-Tin Can Island port axis.
She emphasized the need for a multimodal transport system, saying that no port can function well if 90 per cent of its cargo is moved by road.
She stated, “We must assiduously recognize the need for intermodal transportation system and that is why the minister of transport has been actively pursuing the rail project.
“Right now, the China Civil Engineering Company is working on linking the Tin Can Island and Apapa ports to its rail connection.
“That should be completed before the end of this year so that we can have a seamless port evacuation by rail.”
In addition, the NPA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the AP Moeller Capital, a private firm that is working on moving cargo through the inland waterways, the MD said.
On how the agency was adjusting to the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic now that the lockdown has been lifted, the NPA MD said there was constant engagement with stakeholders on personal protection and social distancing.
She said, “The new normal is very challenging to us in the port environment where you have activities that need to be done in an efficient manner.
“Our pilots have been briefed on how to protect themselves while boarding vessels that come into the Nigerian ports.
“We are also putting in place the Standard Operating Procedures in compliance with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and the Port Health Services whereby there is clarity on how crews that come aboard vessels are treated.”
She said the NPA board appointed by the Federal Government was well constituted, adding that the board was sure to sustain the revenue generating trajectory of NPA.
According to her, the last four years had been very productive for the NPA and the agency’s contribution to the consolidated revenue had been the highest the Nigerian port ever recorded.