- Ag. Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko (middle), flanked by the Executive Director, Marine & Operations, Onari Brown (right) and Port Manager, Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), Olufunmilayo Olotu, during his facility tour of the Truck Transit Park (TTP) at the Lilypond Terminal, Ijora
By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it would speedily resolve all teething challenges against the smooth implementation of the electronic call-up system, called “Eto”, for trucks doing business at the port.
The strategy includes that both the online scheduling process and truck transit arrangement would be fine-tuned to check manipulation and related irregularities, the NPA Ag Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said.
Addressing stakeholders during his visit to the Lilypond Terminal in Ijora, Koko said the agency would “ensure that the entire process is fully automated and secured to prevent counterfeiting, while priority will be given to export cargoes in line with the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government.”
He stressed that the agency would sustain the enforcement of minimum standard for trucks operating in the ports, with a view to guaranteeing the standard operating procedure (SOP) at all times. To that end, trucks that fail to meet to expectations would not be allowed onto the Eto app, he stated.
He further called for the support of the ports community for the sector to operate in sync with international best practice, adding, “Eto has come to stay, we shall together ensure its workability,” according to a statement from the General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications, Olaseni Alakija.
Speaking on behalf of the haulage operators at the ports, President of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Remi Ogungbemi, described Koko’s unannounced visit as a demonstration that he prioritises the truck call-up system.
“We are very happy with your visit, it shows clearly that you are a listening and focused leader who is prepared to tackle the critical issues affecting port business in our country,” Ogungbemi said.
“We will work with you, as the success of NPA is our success as well. We commend the agency for giving us this call-up system; and though the story so far has not been enjoyable, we’re hopeful that things will improve very soon.”
Koko was at the terminal to assess the IT physical infrastructure built for the call-up system, which is domiciled there, and identify the measures still required for the system to achieve its intended objective of addressing the intractable traffic gridlock along the access roads to the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports.
The visit was also to enable him engage directly with the service users to know their concerns and the bottlenecks arising from their subscription to the traffic management platform.