The Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) has said it already deplored surveillance mechanism on the port corridors to monitor night activities in line with tackling corrupt practices by operators and to further ease movement of vehicles.
PSTT also vowed to bring both states and non state actors to book at the appropriate time in furtherance to send strong warning to players and operators in the maritime industry .
Coordinator General , PSTT Mr. Moses Fadipe,while speaking to newsmen during an inspection tour of the port corridor on Tuesday disclosed that the team has already commenced data collations of activities along the route linking the two seaports adding that in no distance time some targeted points will be dealt with at night.
Fadipe maintained that the road actors at night has some level of control by individual who will be unveiled soon adding that the achievements recorded so far started with surveillance mechanism .
According to him, some areas are already on target and night operations will commence to eradicate some of the bad spots militating against free flow of vehicular movement.
While giving an update on operations of the PSTT, during a meeting at the Nigerian Shippers Council board room with stakeholders, Fadipe pointed out that:“We have made tremendous progress in restoring order on port access roads. Shop owners and all those who have structures on the right of way of motorists were given prior notice to vacate such areas.
“While many of such illegal structure owners complied with notices we served them, there were those who did not comply and we had to move in to enforce the presidential directive to achieve our mandate”.
Narrating the challenges faced by members of the team, Fadipe bemoaned the actions of state actors (consisting of federal and state agencies and their agents and the confusion caused by and non-state actors such as touts and troublemakers as obstacles to effective operations of the PSTT
“We have been attacked physically on several occasions by non-state actors who are bent on having a place along the port corridor. One of our members has been seriously injured and hospitalized for weeks but he is recovering. We need the cooperation and support of all maritime stakeholders to succeed in our work to restore order and efficiency in the ports”, Fadipe said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary,Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Emmanuel Jime , Hon. Emmanuel Jime said the review is necessitated by the need to increase port efficiency and ensure free flow of traffic in all port roads within and around Apapa.
According to him “Operation free the port corridor is essentially intended to rid the ports of inefficiencies and corrupt practices to enhance the ease of doing business in the ports. The first phase of the operation was launched to clear the port access road from Apapa to Ijora. This was a huge success as observed by Maritime stakeholders and all those who use the road”.
“The success of that operation led to the launch of the second phase on the 24th of June 2022 to clear the route from the Apapa Port complex gate to Tin Can, coconut, Mile 2, Orile, Ijora down to Apapa, a distance of about 15.6 km”.
“This area was littered with chanties and trucks parked indiscriminately, thereby posing untold hardship to commuters and creating opportunities for extortion and other corrupt practices for state and non-state actors” Jime said
Highpoints of the stakeholders meeting was the distribution of raincoats and boots for both government agencies and non state actors.