A taste of what is possible began yesterday in Apapa, a once thriving port city brought to its knees by traffic gridlock. After many years of unwarranted deaths and untold hardship the electronic call-up system (ETO) introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) commenced yesterday.
Apapa had in the past several years defied effort to solve its traffic problem. The efforts, including a presidential task team, were blighted by corruption. However, normalcy returned to Apapa following the removal of trucks that littered the port access roads – Apapa Oshodi Express Way and Western Avenue leading to Ijora.
Road users could not believe that they were traveling on the same roads. Some lamented the horrors they had to go through in order to move from one point to another.
Importers, clearing agents and truck owners also expressed optimism as the electronic call-up system began yesterday. They called for a functional holding bay by shipping companies for return of empty containers.
This is the first time that electronic call-up would be deployed to direct truck movement into ports in Lagos.
This automated process, known as Eto App, is expected to permanently restore sanity within the Apapa port corridor by removing the daily traffic congestion, if properly managed.
NPA had late last year announced the launch of Eto, an Electronic Truck call-up system designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos. The authority said all trucks doing business at the ports would be required to park at the approved truck parks until they were called up into the port through the Eto app. NPA explained that the Eto app will be responsible for the scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks from the ports with effect from February 27. It also stated that about 7,000 trucks had been certified fit for the digitalised call up system, revealing that effective February 27, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code to access the ports.
We believe that if the system can be sustained and well managed, economic activities will be boosted in the city.