‘Waterways, regular training, others critical to seamless cargo evacuation’
THE Federal Government should explore the possibilities of using waterways as alternative to evacuating cargoe from seaports, the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has said.
Speaking in Lagos, the association argued that based on challenges associated with the nation’s road transportation system and rail network, the most convenient and cost effective remains waterways.
According to the association, if adequately harnessed with adequate infrastructure and security, waterways are capable of curtailing the chaotic challenges associated with road transport.
National President of the association, Capt. Adegboyega Olopoenia, also used the opportunity to advise the Government to fix bad sections of the roads leading to the ports coupled with specialised training for truck drivers.
Calling for specialised training for truck drivers, Olopoenia said most trucks are not road worthy.
He advised relevant Government agencies to “Go back to the old system” of certifying truck drivers.
Chairman, Technical Committee of the association, Capt Adewale Ishola, while advising road traffic agencies to be vigilant, said some trucks are rickety with bad tyres, “weak flatbed, inefficient engine, axle weight, over loading’, among others.
Ishola said: “Traffic control officers should ensue that loaded trucks do not pass Western Avenue, because its not for containers carring truck (gradient). All trucks should have complaints telephone numbers. Any tilted or bending trucks should be parked off the road”.
He also urged the Government to encourage use of alternative means of transporting containers through railways, waterways and Inland Container Depot (ICD).
Calling for training and retraining of drivers, Ishola said there is need for loading inspectors at loading bay, “checking at the port entry,
loading bay and port exit. Checking container lashing material, inspecting flatbed for fatique, jacks, tyres and safety equipment, proper greasing of locks to ensure it is free at loading bay, ensure that loads are evenly distributed”.
For example, Ishola explained that petroleum tankers not fully loaded makes the product in the tanker to wobble and make the truck unbalanced on the road, “Thereby causing accidents, pouring out liquid which split over and damage the road, crack bitumen, pot holes, precaution must be taken to avoid over speeding of the tankers”.
Israel Obada of the Association of Marine Engineer Surveyors (AMES) explained that apart from lashing of the containers, there is need to check the quality state of the truck.
Obada also emphasised need to develop alternative means of transporting containers across the country.
Speaking in a similar vein, Matthew Alalade said road network should be properly maintained in the interest of all stakeholders and the larger economy.