Solution to the seeming intractable gridlock on the Apapa port access roads lies in implementing the Intelligent Traffic Management Study carried out by some logistics experts, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said.
The study, which the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, had directed the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to implement, was commissioned by the NSC but the NPA was said to have ignored the directive in preference for its own electronic call-up system, which has so far not improved the traffic situation.
In his lecture in Lagos entitled, “Nigerian Shippers’ Council as an Interventionist Agency,” NSC Deputy Director, Compliance and Monitoring, Cajetan Agu, disclosed that shortly after its appointment as the ports economic regulator, the council commissioned the port audit and port access road GAP analysis.
He explained that the GAP analysis, done by a World Bank affiliate, National Freights and International Transformation Hub (NAFITH), and sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), was ready within one year with what was code-named the “Lagos Logistics Ring.”
According to Agu, “the Lagos Logistics Ring spans Apapa-Ijora-Orile-Mile 2-Tincan Island and back to Apapa. As at the time of the study, within this ring we have two seaports, about 27 tank farms and other logistics facilities, as well as off-dock terminals. It was also deduced that daily, up to 7,000 trucks and tankers traverse the ring.”
However, a meeting of the council, NPA and all terminal and tank farm operators put the actual number of trucks and tankers handled by the two seaports and the 27 tank farms at less than 2,500 daily. Therefore, the surplus lingering in the ring causes the gridlock.
According to him, a technology-driven Intelligent Traffic Management System, which would include the installation of electronic gates at the tank farms, terminals and logistics facilities within the ring, was recommended.
This will be complemented with a marshaling yard or truck/tanker village, from where only the trucks and tankers bound for any of the facilities would be allowed access to the ring.
“The consultant earmarked $40 million for the project and informed that it would generate 600 direct and 1,000 indirect employments; and that within six months the gridlock would disappear.”