The Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have handed over the management of Tin Can and Lilypond truck parks to private operators to oversee movement of trucks accessing the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports.
NPA last year said it had commenced procurement process seeking for private investors to manage the trailer park at Tin Can port when completed.
Disclosing this in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS, Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, said the Tin Can trailer park has been handed over to a private firm, MOB Integrated Services Limited while the Lilypond truck park would be managed by Truck Transit Park Nigeria Limited.
Ogungbemi said although the investors are yet to roll out modalities for the management of the truck parks, he is optimistic that the new arrangement will eliminate extortion of truck drivers, reduction in the number of security operatives and clogging of trucks along the port access roads.
The AMATO chief noted that for effective implementation of the new system, all trucks including those that belong to manufacturing concerns and petroleum tankers must be compelled to leave the roads to their private parks and garages where they will be called when it is their turn to load.
He added that all security agencies including the task force team involved in the passing of trucks should be replaced with new hands in order for them not to circumvent the new arrangement.
“I believe with this new change in place, things will change for the better. The management of the parks should use it to ensure orderliness and sanity on our road. Before that place can work optimally, the security agencies including police, LASTMA controlling movement of trucks must be replaced with new ones otherwise they will circumvent it for their own interest no matter how laudable the guidelines are. The place should not be run as usual and the management should not allow personal interests to override majority interest.
“Let there also be a numerical system that would indicate the number of trucks that would be call and each truck must have identification tag so that as the trucks are coming, they will be displaying the number which will go along with the number of trucks called to avoid shunting. All trucks including Dangote trucks should be made to leave the road. Trucks should go back to their garages and park and should only come out when they have the tag,” he said.
Ogungbemi also urged the management of both parks on the need to sensitize truck drivers on how the facilities would be operated just as he appealed to truckers to support the new arrangement.