Friday 20th October, 2017
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AMATO seeks government help on N3bn truck bay

AMATO seeks government help on N3bn truck bay

As stakeholders contin­ue the search for solu­tions to the ever wors­ening gridlock in Apapa and its access roads, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AM­ATO) says it is about losing an identified, strategic and size­able property for truck park, which would be a major solu­tion to the congestion problem.
 
This comes as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, voiced government’s admission that the level of infrastructure de­cay, vandalism and deteriora­tion in Apapa, where the na­tion’s two major seaports are located, could shut down, rath­er than boost the economy.
 
Inspecting the roads and other infrastructure in Apa­pa last weekend, Fashola not­ed that the nation would be shut down if Liverpool Road in Apapa and Funsho Williams Avenue, which connects to Ijo­ra Bridge, were lost.
 
To avoid that, he urged Reynolds Construction Com­pany (RCC), which is rehabil­itating the Funsho Williams Road to Ijora Bridge, to speed up the job, while also extend­ing President Muhammadu Buhari’s gratitude to the pri­vate stakeholder-financiers of the Apapa-Wharf Road recon­struction work.
 
However, AMATO Presi­dent, Mr. Remi Ogungbemi, told The AUTHORITY that the property, already asphalt­ed, costs about N3 billion and is located approximately 2.5km to both the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, with a capacity for a minimum of 1,000 trucks, stretchable to about 1,500 trucks if the need arises.
 
Ogungbemi regretted that though the association has been negotiating with the willing and ready owners of the property, it does not have the capacity for such huge sum for an outright purchase, as the owners are insisting.
 
To that end, AMATO is pleading with both the Federal and Lagos State governments to intervene and acquire the land for this purpose as loan to the body and take the huge number of trucks off the port access roads and the bridg­es, while recouping the fund through a convenient method that would be worked out be­tween the concerned parties.
 
According to him, the trucks will only be released from the holding bay onto the port roads through the call-up system, thereby ensuring an ef­ficient management of the port roads while also guaranteeing payment for use of the proper­ty as well as terminal charges.
 
AMATO had also at a re­cent forum in Lagos solicited the assistance of the Nigeri­an Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Coun­cil (NSC) to draw the Federal Government’s support to the same course, stating that the property was ready for occu­pation as soon as payment was made.
 

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