Extortion by security agents fuel Apapa traffic gridlock — truck owners

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Extortion by security agents fuel Apapa traffic gridlock — truck owners

Segun Oladipupo   |  

The Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) has stated that extortions by security operatives along the port access roads is responsible for the perennial gridlock.

The Acting Chairman of the BOT, Aloga Ogbogo, yesterday said that the Council was formed to address the challenges bedevilling haulage businesses in the industry especially in Apapa and Tin Can ports in Lagos state.

According to Ogbogo,  who is also the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the factors responsible for persistent gridlock in the port include; shunting of trucks that are not called up by some persons with the aid of security operatives.

He added that preferential treatment given to the highest bidders by the security operatives, inefficiency of the shipping companies and terminal operators in handling empty containers like system break down, lack of space to stack empty containers are part of the reasons why there is gridlock on the port access roads

He further blamed the continued gridlock on lack of functional holding bays by shipping companies for the empty containers.

The delay in the construction of Apapa/Oshodi expressway, according to him, is another factor that hampers free flow of traffic along the corridor.

” We urge the federal government to prevail on the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to set up a call up committee comprising of the NPA, Port police, COMTUA and terminal operators to handle the call up for the major truck transit terminals.

“It should be a policy of the government that all trucks going to the ports must enter the transit truck terminals before accessing the ports. All defaulters should be severely sanctioned,” he said.

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