*APMT: We’re not responsible for empty containers,traffic control in Apapa
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has given APM Terminals two weeks ultimatum to remove empty containers on the Apapa Access road, saying that this was part of the causes of gridlock in the port environment.
The Union in a statement signed by the Deputy Secretary General, Edwin Sambo, said the empty containers were causing a lot of problem for those going into the ports.
Sambo said that movement inside and outside the port has become very difficult as a result of the heavy traffic near the port entry point.
The statement reads: “The security of lives and properties in and around the environment has deteriorated so much that rape and brigandage have become the order of the day. Workers, port users and the public in general trek long distances for hours before accessing the port and their workplace.
“Consequently, your management is hereby given a 14-day notice of ultimatum from the date of this letter to put all necessary arrangements in motion to ensure that the blockage caused by the empty containers is totally cleared for business and other port-related activities to resume at the port.”
The Union gave an indication that it would take action against the company if the empty containers were not removed within 14 days.
According to the statement, “Please, be informed that we shall not be held liable for whatever action we might deem fit to take in the event of your refusal to get your empty containers off the road.”
The Union insisted that the blockage was against the objectives of the Executive Order introduced by the federal government at the ports.
However, in reaction to the 14 days ultimatum and allegation, the management of APM Terminals in a statement on Wednesday, said that it was not responsible for controlling traffic in Apapa and hence cannot be held liable for the gridlock in the area.
The company said that like other stakeholders, it is a victim of the menacing Apapa gridlock.
Speaking on Wednesday against the background of a 14-day ultimatum issued by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) asking it to rid the port access road of trucks bearing empty containers, APM Terminals said it neither controls traffic on the roads nor owns the trucks or empty containers on the road.
APM Terminals said its employees, service providers, contractors and customers have to go through the harrowing traffic experience everyday, like every other person.
“We are aware APM Terminals is being accused as the cause of the traffic gridlock in the Apapa area and we would like to set the record straight.
“APM Terminals Apapa is as much of a victim of the traffic gridlock as everyone else. Our employees, service providers, contractors and customers have to go through the harrowing traffic experience every day.
“These employees are the ones that operate the equipment that service the trucks and would not by any means delay or stop servicing trucks unnecessarily as it would equate to ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’,” the company said in a statement signed by its General Manager Communications, Augustine Fischer.
Several stakeholders have blamed the traffic gridlock on bad roads, poor traffic management, lack of truck parks and the lack of holding bays for empty containers by shipping companies.
Credit: Shipping Day.