Durowaiye: When A Man’s Work Speaks For Him

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It was a setting that people who work in the sea and those who like nature would talk about for a long time.

By Ovie Edomi

The venue was tucked away among the sea side on the Lagos lagoon precisely at Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos. But it was as if the selected guests were at the Miami Beach in America. It was indeed, an event well planned for the evening of May 31st.

The event was a grand reception held in appreciation of Mr Ayo Durowaiye, the progenitor of the Electronic Call Up System also referred to Eto which is being operated by the NPA. No doubt, the NPA battled with traffic gridlock around the nation’s premier port and Lagos roads for decades until Mr Ayo Durowaiye was appointed Chairman of the Project Implementation Committee,
Electronic Call Up System also referred to Eto. Indeed, Durowaiye’s appointment paved the way for the free flow of traffic with the introduction of Electronic Call Up System for truckers. The Electronic Call Up System for truckers came with numerous innovations. One of such innovations was the registration of Satellite Truck Parks Owners Association of Nigeria (STPOAN), an initiative which
Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, NPA, who was represented by Mr Charles Bamidele Okaga, Apapa Port Manager, described as unprecedented in the industry. Furthermore, he noted ” the sanity being enjoyed on the port access roads today was as result of the Eto Call-Up system which Durowaiye and his team conceptualised
Findings showed that Satellite Truck Parks Owners Association of Nigeria (STPOAN) and its members are the first of its kind in the history of Maritime business in Nigeria where automation is applied to traffic management.

President of STPOAN, Mr Frank Okeke said members of the association were pioneers of the Eto Call-Up system alongside Durowaiye. According to him:
“We are pioneers of this project and he took us on this project, clearly, everyone can now see the improvement of the Eto on Tin Can Island Port and Apapa Port, that is why we are celebrating him after he retired from NPA in order to show our appreciation. Furthermore Mr Okeke noted

“In life, there must be continous improvements, we have to aspire to continue to improve further, the man that took over from Mr Durowaiye is a man who wants to solve all the problems in one day, so he is investing all his energies to get things working and we are witnessing several new innovations and steady improvements” Speaking further Mr Okeke said:
“In the beginning of the E-call up project, we were seven truck parks selected to help in warehousing trucks going into the port corridor, the result of it today, is that you can move easily into Apapa.Members that joined the project, decided to form an association so that we can speak with one voice. Interestingly, NPA encouraged us to do that, because it also helped in coordinating the instructions they were passing down to us, instead of speaking to seven people, they would speak to one”

Indeed, it was tributes and testimonies galore from NPA personnel, friends and the truck owners at the appreciation dinner held at Radisson Blu Hotel, sea side, Victoria Island .

Chairman of Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (PCC) Mr Bolaji Sunmola described Durowaiye as “Mr Call-Up” and that the industry would continue to call on him for support.

Vice President of STPOAN Hajia Bola Muse urged Durowaiye not to be tired of assisting as the association would continue to call upon him for his supports, even in retirement.She further urged other park owners to join STPOAN, saying that “Those who have not joined our association or registered, you have seen us and know the stuff we are made of so join the success story and get onboard the moving train”

His successor who incidentally represented the Managing Director of NPA noted ” The man we are celebrating today, Mr Ayodele Durowaiye, is somebody that the Managing Director of NPA holds in very high esteem, not just the present Managing Director, but even previous Managing Directors of the organisation. He is somebody whose intellectual capacity, official commitment to service and dutifullness has always attracted him to people in high offices in the organisation” Bello-Koko stated.

Indeed for Mr Durowaiye who recently retired from the NPA as a General Manager in charge of MD’s office and Chairman Project Implementation Committee (PIC) of the Eto Call-Up System, a concept that was berthed when he was General Manager Operations under the administration of Hadiza Bala Usman as NPA, when the project started, stated that everybody played an important role in order to get the stability that we have today. This may be why he thanked the two Managing Directors of NPA who gave him the opportunity to ply the trade as head of operations, together with other colleagues then, with whom they crafted what is now being celebrated.

This is certainly the beginning of greater things for Durowaiye and STPOAN. Time will tell.

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