Barely weeks to the commissioning of the Lekki Deep Seaport, members of Amalgamation of Maritime Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (AMTOAN) have urged management of Lekki Deep Seaport to ensure a coordinated approach to truck movement at the port.
Coordinator of the association , Mr Remi Ogungbemi, who stated this during a visit to the Port, weekend, noted that such approach would prevent gridlock.
He said a coordinated approach to trucking will ensure seamless cargo evacuation when commercial operation begins next month.
Ogungbemi, however, noted that cargo evacuation from the Lekki port would still be a challenge due to the bad roads leading to the port city.
He urged the Lagos State Government to ensure that the roads were expanded to avert the traffic challenges similar to the one being experienced at Apapa and Tin Can ports.
“The purpose of our visit is to get ourselves familiar with the facilities, especially where it has to do with movement of trucks in and out of the port.
“We also want to know the provisions made for trucks that are coming to the port”, he said.
Ogungbemi described the Lekki seaport project as a game changer for the Nigerian economy.
“What we saw here is the first of its kind. We don’t have such infrastructures in any of our ports. We have not seen such before in Nigeria. It is, indeed, a game changer,” he said.
Also speaking, a trucker, Mr Ridwan Bello, said there was need to have adequate truck parks around the port’s corridor that would match the volume handled at the port.
Bello said due to heavy traffic flow in the Lekki-Epe axis occasioned by poor access roads, truckers might consider night movement of trucks before the completion of the road.
He urged the State Government to create a dedicated lane for trucks upon completion of the road to reduce gridlock in the axis.
“Our basic concern is the access road and truck park facility. If you look at the Ajah to Lekki road, it is in a bad shape. So you can imagine the chaos when trucks start coming to the port.
“This is why we are proposing night movement for our trucks. From Eleko to Epe”,
“There is a dedicated lane for trucks, so we are also suggesting that there should be a dedicated lane for trucks from Lekki to Ajah”, he said.
Earlier, Chief Operating Officer, Lekki Port, Mr Laurence Smith, and Head of Regulatory and Procurement, Mr Daniel Odibe, who received the team, assured the visitors that the challenges of gridlock experienced at the Apapa ports would not be the case at the Lekki Port.
They assured that the operations at the port would be streamlined and fully automated.
Odibe said to ensure smooth evacuation of cargo, the management of the Lekki Port had put in place a truck parking area with a capacity for 250 trucks.
“The trucks will be required to park at the truck parking area until they are called up into the port through a booking system.
“With the road network going east of Lagos, we have newly constructed six lane roads leading to Epe all the way to Shagamu.
By: Chinedu Wosu