Due to the deplorable state of the Apapa Ports, access roads, truck owners are paying more as unreceipts fees to various unions and government agencies on the road.
This was posited by Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa, Vice Chairman National Association of Road Transports Owners (NARTO Dry Cargo) section Lagos State Branch during an exclusive interview with our Correspondent in Lagos recently.
The NARTO Chairman said this on the backdrop of the alleged N10,000 paid by each truck to Police to ply One-way at the Coconut to the Tin Can Island port.
Inuwa said “ We are even paying more than that, because is worst now, like for the past two weeks, if you look at the trucks along the Mile Berger road, Some of them have been there for more than two weeks and before you enter the port, you must have to find your way and you have to pay your way to the port, is that bad now. So we are paying more than the N10,000 now. Truckowners are not making any gain from their sweats, instead their vehicles are being damage on a daily basis due to the bad road into the ports.”
On curtailing reckless driving by their drivers, he said NARTO is organising training programmes for their members and also caution them on good driving ethics. Apart from the association, he said truck owners who have large fleets of vehicles also train their drivers for careful driving. Inuwa also lambasted the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for defrauding their members by collecting N10,000 for each trucks as registration and vowed to resist the current moves the NPA is making to collect another registration fees this year.
Inuwa said “The NPA defrauded our members by collecting N10,000 as trucks registration before you can enter the ports, we resisted it, but some of our members have to pay because initially they said that every truck will be fully examined to prove its road worthiness, but later on, one way or the other it was not done. The case is still in Court now. The NPA is making another move to collect another round of accreditation from truck owners , they have called us for meeting, but we will resist it.” He appealed to the Federal government to as a matter of priority repair the ports access roads to reduced the suffering of the masses not only truck owners, because according to him, every extra cost incurred by the goods owners are transferred into the cost of goods and services and that is the price Nigerians are paying for this government negligence.
Recently, the truck drivers went on protest and shut down activities at the Lagos ports, alleging large scale extortions by the Nigerian Navy, Police and the Nigerian Ports Authority ( NPA) officials.
The truck drivers who match through major roads within Apapa and the Tin Can Island axis said they parts with over N70,000 before a truck can enter the ports.
The protest which lasted over a week paralysis all truck movement of goods to and fro the ports of Apapa and Tin Can Island in Lagos State.