LAGOS — THE Lagos State government has moved to introduce a new law that will restrict the movement of articulated trucks within the metropolis.
“A bill for a law to repeal and re-enact the road traffic law and to make provisions for road traffic and vehicle inspection in Lagos State,” which was subjected to a public hearing last Thursday by the state House of Assembly seeks to outlaw movement of container laden trucks in the state between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Specifically, the Bill states: “No trailers other than petrol tankers and long vehicles used in conveying passengers shall enter into or travel within the metropolis of Lagos between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.”
A copy of the draft bill which was sighted by our correspondent also includes punishments for violators, even as it seeks to outlaw operations of commercial motorcycles in certain parts of the city.
But reacting to the new law, the factional national president, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Mr Lucky Amiwero, who was at the public hearing told the lawmakers that restricting movement of container carriers to regulated time period would hinder free flow of cargoes from the ports to the consignees and that this could precipitate congestion in the ports.
According to the licenced customs agent who was the only stakeholder at the public hearing, “the provisions as contained in section 3-(1) must take into cognizance the supply chain mechanism that may obstruct the clearance of goods from the ports at the restricted time from 6 a.m. to 7p.m.”
He suggested to the lawmakers that rather than restrict movement of containers, government should embark on proper delineation of routes and direct that trailers and container carriers be restricted to certain routes.
Amiwero, however, urged the legislators to make it mandatory for the state government to use part of the proceeds from the controversial “wharf landing fees” to construct trailer parks and holding bays.
Besides Amiwero, President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Agents (ANLCA), Alhaji Olayowola Shittu, said he was not aware of the development, adding that a meeting of the port de-congestion committee was billed for Wednesday and the issue would surely be tabled for discussion.
He, however, stated that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)had opposed a similar move by the State to restrict the movement of empty containers in the past
Another agent Ademola Odubanjo who vehemently opposed the move by the State government to regulate the movement of container stated that the restriction of container traffic will create more bottlenecks and than resolve the problem of Apapa traffic.
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