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NPA constitutes task force on traffic congestion at Lagos seaports

By The Citizen
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The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), at the weekend, constituted a seven-man task force to ensure 24-hour free flow of traffic within the Lagos seaports.

Under the chairmanship of the General Manager (Special Duties), Inyeinengi-Etomi Sotonye, the task force is expected to work closely with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other agencies.

Constituting the task force in Lagos, Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi listed its terms of reference as 'identifying the cause (s) of the congestion, proffer solutions to eliminate the congestion, make appropriate recommendation to eliminate future congestion and make any other recommendation that the committee may deem necessary'.

Membership of the committee is drawn from security, Audit, Procurement, Traffic, Legal and Personnel departments and has two weeks to complete the assignment.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, recently attributed the problem of congestion at the nation's ports to corruption among government officials.

Okonjo-Iweala, who was represented by Dankadi Kifasi, the permanent secretary in the Ministry, at the investigative hearing organised by the House of Representatives joint committees on Finance, Customs and Marine transport, said there was need to improve the general port operations in the country.

'Nigerian ports,' she said, 'need to enhance their efficiency to come close to international best practices.'

According to her, the decongested roads in the port's vicinity were being reversed to its former state, adding that the situation was made worse by the lawlessness of tanker drivers lifting petroleum products from tank farms.

The Minister explained that the Ports Reform committee was currently collaborating with the Lagos State Government to solve the perennial traffic congestion, adding that the Federal Ministry of Works had also commenced `rehabilitation of the access roads to the ports.