Drastic reduction in the traffic congestion of the Lagos port access road otherwise referred to as Apapa traffic gridlock has brought down the cost of transporting containers from the seaports to other parts of the country by over 120 per cent.
For instance the cost of transporting a 40 foot container from the seaport to Ikeja about a year ago was between N600,000 and N700,000. But currently, importers pay not more than N250, 000 for a 40 foot container to be transported from the seaport to Ikeja.
President of the Advocacy for Maritime Development Association (AMDAN), Mr. Segun Alabi, stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Lagos recently when he played host to the Monthly AMJON Roundtable, a news event of the Association of Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (AMJON).
He attributed the new development to the efficiency of the electronic truck call up system of the Nigerian Ports Authority, otherwise known as (ETO).
He said: “ETO is a project of collective efforts and not Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) alone. As a truck owner, as of today, the ETO system is working. In 2018-2019, accessing the port, in terms of what we experienced, was impossible, but with ETO it is possible now. No system is perfect but it is work in progress.”
According to him, the price of trucking a few years ago, transporting containers from Apapa to Ikeja was from N600, 000 to N700, 000, but as at today, taking a 40 foot container to Ikeja is N250, 000.
“The price of trucking has come down. ETO has succeeded, all we need to do is to give it perfection,” Alabi stated.
He said that when ETO was introduced, there were complaints that those in-charge of it were manipulating things until the e-truck call up system was perfected.
“When you have a project you are prosecuting, the success of it might not come to fruition at once, there might be complaints. Just like when ETO started, there were complaints from those in charge of it – there were manipulations and other issues, then perfection came in”.