FG backs down on 7 days quit notice to seaport truckers - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Monday, 26 June 2017

FG backs down on 7 days quit notice to seaport truckers

FG backs down on 7 days quit notice to seaport truckers

Indications are rife that the Federal Government may have backed down on the seven days quit notice handed out to truck owners to move their articulated vehicles off the Lagos ports access roads in order to allow contractors repair the roads.

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This is even as findings revealed that officials of the Federal Ministry of Works are set to meet with trucks owners on Thursday in Lagos.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government, last Wednesday, directed truck drivers blocking roads in Apapa to vacate within seven days to enable the reconstruction works on the ports access roads. The seven days quit notice is set to lapse on Tuesday, and trucks, including tankers, still litter Apapa port access roads.

Speaking to Tribune Online exclusively on Monday, the chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, explained that seaports cannot operate without trucks going in and out to lift and drop cargoes.

According to him, “the seaports cannot operate without the trucks, and there is no way we can stop trucks from passing through seaports access roads except we want to close the ports.

We have another meeting with the Federal Ministry of Works this Thursday.
Maybe at the meeting, they (Federal Ministry of Works) will roll out modalities on how trucks will go in and out of the ports while the road reconstruction goes on.

“After the seven days quit notice was read last Wednesday, we tried to comply to ensure our trucks leave the roads leading to the ports, but you know the ports cannot operate without the trucks.

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There was no way we could stop those trucks totally from passing or being on the road leading to the ports because if we do that, then there will be congestion at the ports.

“Realising that the ports cannot be closed, the Federal Minister of Works has called for another meeting on Thursday. Maybe at that meeting, they will fine-tune the modalities that will ensure trucks leave the roads while at the same time, reconstruction of the wharf roads is ongoing.”

It would be recalled that the Federal Government on Wednesday directed truck drivers blocking roads in Apapa to vacate within seven days to enable the reconstruction work on Wharf Road to start.

The government also ordered telecommunication service providers and other operators to relocate their service cables on the Right of Way (RoW) of the project for work to begin.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Godwin Eke, gave the directives during a meeting with stakeholders at the ministry’s office complex in Lagos.

Stakeholders present at the meeting included representatives of telecommunication service providers, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), transport unions, port operators, shippers’ unions and AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd, the construction company handling the project.

Eke, after extensive deliberation with stakeholders, directed the tankers and truckers to immediately vacate the road, while service providers were to quickly relocate their cables from the RoW.

“We need to do something urgently to ensure smooth running of the project. When the project starts, we will not be able to wait for companies to relocate utility services so I am appealing to all stakeholders to act fast in the interest of us all.

“Leave the roads so that this contractor, AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd, can begin excavation on site,” he said.

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