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E-call up system faces hurdles as group begins investigation to expose saboteurs

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The maritime branch of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has promised to assist the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to unmask those frustrating the introduction of the electronic call-up system.

The group disclosed that it had commenced an investigation to reveal those frustrating the system introduced to check gridlock around Lagos ports..

The group gave the hint during a three-day capacity-building programme it held for its members in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, which ends today.

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This follows the continuous wailing of truck operators at the port on the anomalies in the system.They have alleged that the process was fraught with fraud and multiple extortions by security agencies deployed to monitor the free flow of vehicular movement along the corridor.

The truck operators took to a series of protests last week to register their grievances as they threatened to withdraw their services while urging the NPA to address the challenges bedevilling the electronic call-up system in the port.

They also called on the government to monitor activities at the Sunrise-Mile 2, noting that the combined operatives of LASTMA, Police and NPA personnel were milking transporters out of their hard earned money.

The President of the NPA Branch of SSASCGOC, Comrade Abubakar Abdullahi, expressed optimism about how the e-call up system would restore sanity in ports.

He added that the innovation had been of tremendous help to port users, adding that some elements are trying to frustrate the success of the scheme.

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According to him, SSASCGOC and the sister labour body, the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, would synergise to scuttle attempts to thwart the electronic system.

“For over three years now, NPA has been battling with a modality to clear this menace along the road. There are many groups and security agents on the roads, but there are many factors that contributed to the gridlock. We are not apportioning blames to anyone, but the managing director of NPA has come out with a very good platform.

“If you look at the e-call up system, it is working, only that the evil ones are bent on trying to make sure it does not work, to frustrate the efforts of NPA management. We at NPA SSASCGOC, maritime unit, would not fold our hands, as we are working with our sister unions,” he said.

Speaking on the capacity training, Abdullahi said a total of 75 personnel of NPA, drawn across all the ports in Nigeria are trained on welfare and job efficiency. He said the training is aimed at developing members to match up with the evolving technology in the maritime industry.

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