The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Federal Government to encourage the use of barges for movement of cargoes from and to the port to help decongest the roads.
President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju made the plea on Thursday at a public event because of its usefulness as an alternative to road.
Adeyanju was represented at the function by Comrade Boniface Udoh, a Deputy President General of the union who noted that a lot still needed to be done to ensure that the port corridor is free from logjam
He noted that barging activities would aid trade facilitation and create seamless flow of cargo movement after clearance.
According to him, barging activities can provide succour for the existing gridlock despite the on-going road construction along the Apapa Oshodi Expressway, noting that barge operations should be perceived as a tool of conveyance of cargo and freeing the roads for other users.
His words, “As a responsible social partner, we have called on the government and its regulatory agencies to take urgent action and undertake any means to cause a reduction in the traffic on our port access roads.
“We note especially the need to urgently initiate palliative measures in motion on the Mile 2/Coconut, Tin Can Port axis.
On the e-call up system, Adeyanju maintained that the proactive measure of the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should be commended but stressed the need for creation of more holding bays.
He however cautioned individuals and companies who daily sabotage the call up system to desist saying “This is to the disadvantage of citizens and maritime stakeholders.”
The union’s boss also re-emphasized the need for government to relocate tank farms along the port corridors as a tool to further decongest the seaports and environs.
“We also use this opportunity to call on the NPA to consider reviewing the conditions attached for individuals and companies to own truck park or garage or holding bays as the condition currently attached to it is stringent thus, making it near impossible for organisations to meet.”
The President General also commended the road marshals on traffic control for their daily sacrifice in ensuring free flow of vehicular movement, while calling on the federal and state governments to compel shipping line agencies to stop using their private businesses to cause public nuisance.