Truckers move against new taskforce on port access roads
With the disbandment of Presidential Task Team on Apapa Gridlock, truck owners have kicked against any plan to introduce another taskforce on the port access roads.
The Federal Government had last week unveiled plans to deploy 200 new security officers to the ports to clear the gridlock.
The President of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Remi Odugbemi, told The Guardian: “Setting up another task force is a ploy orchestrated by those that have been benefiting from the age-long of extortion along the access roads into Apapa and Tincan Ports day and night.
“As Men and Women in the trucking business in the ports, we say no to perpetual enslavement in the name of the taskforce. Taskforce has failed to be the solution. Instead, it only succeeded in compounding the problem. Without doubt, those behind the plan of bringing another taskforce are the very people that have been ripping and benefiting from the extortions,” he said. Odugbemi said, “The minister should not allow himself to be deceived or dragged into any form of cankerworms or devourer called taskforce.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has promised to introduce an automation system through Truck Transit Parks (TTP), and we are waiting to see what they have to offer, and if they are not ready, we have already gotten a system that we can use to seamlessly admit trucks into transit parks or ports without hassle.
“Even, if the system would not be regarded as a solution, it is readily available for use within the next 72 hours of approval.
“We hereby use this medium to appeal to other well-meaning stakeholders in the maritime industry, especially the freight forwarders to help prevail on the authority to jettison the idea of bringing another task force. We need systems that are void of human interference. Taskforce has become an obsolete, archaic and primitive way of doing things in the modern age of technological advancement,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has unveiled plans to deploy 200 new security officers to the ports to clear the gridlock.
Media Assistant to the minister, Mrs. Taiye Eleibo-Edeni, in a statement, said there would be a steering committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Magdalene Ajani, to sit monthly until the challenges are overcome. Other members of the committee would be from NPA, NSC, Maritime Workers Union, Lagos State Government and safety workers
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