The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) electronic call-up system (ETO begins operations on Saturday, February 27. The development has elicited optimism from importers, clearing agents and truck owner.
However, many of the ports users are calling for a functional holding bay by shipping companies for return of empty containers before the commencement of the ETO.
Recall that NPA had 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 are called up into the port through the Eto app. The Eto app will be responsible for the scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks into the ports with effect from 27th Feb. 2021.
The NPA also stated that about 7000 trucks have been certified fit for the proposed digitalised call up system, revealing that effective from 27th of February, 2021, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code to access the ports.
However, maritime stakeholders have expressed optimism toward the commencement of the system saying the electronic call-up system will end corruption on the port access road.
While the Vice Chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Dry Cargo section, Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa, said the call-up system will end artificial bottleneck necks on the port access road, the National Vice president Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Kayode said unless the port access roads are fixed it may not yet be uhuru.
Abdulahi said, “if started in good faith, we assure that we (stakeholders) should cooperate and allow it work then we will get good result. Actually, if it takes off successfully, it will eradicate corruption, no human contact and other artificial bottleneck so, NARTO wishes the authority a successful takeoff.
Speaking further, “The motive is to take trucks off the road but, NPA should involve other garages where trucks are parked so as to successfully decongest the road,” he advised
Also speaking, the National Vice president, Association of Nigerian Liscenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto urged the NPA management to be steadfast in enforcing the call-up system.
According to him, the ongoing construction of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway must also be completed in good time because no call-up system without a good road.
His word, “The road should be put in adequate place because there is nothing the call-up can achieve without a proper port access road.”