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Truck owners tackle anomalies, extortions on port access road


Trucks parked indiscriminately at Liverpool, Apapa

Truck owners under the aegis of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) and Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (COTOAN) have expressed their commitments to tackle headlong the anomalies and extortions that have hindered smooth operations at Lagos ports.
The group, after a strategic meeting in Lagos, said they were determined to provide efficacious antidote to eliminate the gridlock totally, not just to help their businesses recover from the devastation of the gridlock at its zenith, but to also check drivers’ fatigue and other threats to the health and lives of road users, and residents of Apapa area of Lagos.
The truckers, however, commended the government for fully reopening the reconstructed Wharf Road.
In a communiqué, signed by Chief Remi Ogungbemi and Alhaji Wasiu Oloruntoyin, on behalf of AMATO and COTOAN, respectively, it was disclosed that the traffic gridlock had seriously affected the stability and survival of their businesses.
They identified the challenges to include: lack of automation system to regulate or control movement of trucks that are going into the ports; the condemnable whopping sums of money that are exchanging hands days and nights between truckers as bribe givers on one hand, and security operatives or their collecting agents, on the other hand.
Other factor identified is absence of modern and befitting public terminals, which has left a large number of truckers without garages, hence, parking on the roads and bridges. 
“However, believing that every problem has solution or expiry date, we have, therefore, resolved to hold the bull by the horn to politely, gently, peacefully, and lawfully relate with relevant authorities to achieve peaceful and enabling working environment,” it stated.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), as the technical regulator of the ports, had informed operators that it approved the manual call-up of trucks as not just a condition for trucks to access the ports, but also as a method to control movement of trucks into the ports.
The Containerised Truck Owners said: “We have resolved to imbibe and test-run the system.”
Appealing to all other truckers to give the call-up system a trial, the amalgam stated: “All trucks should leave the roads and wait in their garages until they collect call-up before coming to the roads.

“Let’s endeavour to submit all required information or documents to facilitate issuance of the call-up. Enough is enough for all the anomalies on the ports access roads,” it stated.
Harping on the matter of extortionists invading the roads, purportedly collecting membership dues from truckers on behalf of trade unions and associations, the AMATO-COTOAN initiative counseled road haulage unions or associations and associated bodies to “fashion a better, modern and acceptable way of funding themselves by doing away with primitive and archaic ways that are not just breeding hooliganism and thugs, but also denting the image of our country.”

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