Truck drivers urge Sanwo-Olu to end extortion at ports
• Over 500 police, LASTMA officials for deployment
Articulated vehicle drivers have appealed to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to help put an end to the extortion and other pains they daily experience in their bid to access the Lagos ports.
From Lily port to Apapa port and Tincan port, the message was the same. They maintained that the process of gaining entry into the ports was cumbersome with security officers and members of the Federal Task Force extorting between N150,000 to N250,000 from them per truck.
Mostly youths, the drivers shouted their complaints as the governor, who was on a tour of Apapa, walked past them or drove through the axis.
Earlier, the governor had listened to two unions within the ports, who countered themselves about the state of things around the port access roads.
One of the unions alleged that the Federal Task Force had failed in its duty; hence they were not happy with the extortion going on around the ports. But the other claimed ignorance of the extortion.
There were also complaints of turn-around time and delays in gaining access into the ports.
Speaking at the end of the tour, the governor said the state government would take over the management of traffic along the port access road.
His words: “This is, in fact, about the third or fourth time we are trying to see how we bring better solution to Apapa gridlock.
“Today, even being a public holiday, it is difficult for us to say that we have achieved a 100 per cent traffic free flow into Apapa.”
According to Sanwo-Olu, Lagos will set up a seamless operation to have about 400 to 500 Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials, alongside a team of policemen from Area B, dedicated to Apapa gridlock.
The governor asked those alleging extortion to bring evidence, expressing readiness to make a scapegoat of anyone caught in the act.