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NARTO Chieftain asks NPA, Shippers’ Council to caution bonded terminal operators over  extortions, inefficiency.

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Segun Oladipupo

A member of the National Executive Council (NEC)  of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO),  Abdullahi Mohammed Inuwa, has appealed to the  Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC)  to focus more on implementation and monitoring of call up system to ensure shipping companies stamp container cards that will indicate where to return empty containers before trucks exit from the terminals.

He claimed  that failure of monitoring and implementation by these regulatory agencies  has caused a lot of setbacks in return of empty containers.

Abdullahi Mohammed Inuwa, in  assessing the successes and challenges of the call up system, stated that “Many holding bays are hiding under it to extort the truckers from N100,000 to N150,000 before the empty container can be received.”

Inuwa, who lauded the efforts of the government agencies in  these areas, charged NPA, NSC to be more  committed to the monitoring of the system to avoid any loophole caused by some operators.

“The perennial traffic congestion of trucks within Apapa/Tincan port and its environs is a major issue of concern as many lives and properties have been lost with businesses paralyzed.”

“NPA/NSC should  focus more on the implementation and monitoring of  policy beyond the call up system, ETO, full implementation and monitoring to ensure container cards is being stamped by the Shipping companies/Terminal operators that will indicate  where to return the empty boxes before truck exits from the terminals”

“The failure on the implementation and monitoring have been causing serious set back and frustration on the truckers as many holding bays are hiding under it to extort the truckers from N100,000 to N150,000 before the empty container can be received”

Inuwa added that the numerous check points along the port access roads should be checked, saying the points are being used to extort truck drivers.

“There are so many check points by the port security agents along the port access road, service line at Tincan Port and the use of CAMP BOYS or Collections and Returning officers (CRO) by the security agents, should be checked and addressed.”

He highlighted other areas where government agencies should intervene to address the  menace still causing traffic along the road.

“NPA/NSC should monitor the activities of shipping companies/Terminal Operators to ensure they have the required and functional handling equipment for receiving empty/export containers and loading out imports.

“Terminals shall have other means of device for receiving empty, export containers in a case where server fails.

“NPA/NSC to monitor the rations agreed upon for the receiving empty/export containers by terminals via trucks and barge.

“NSC/NPA should equally monitor the activities of the bonded terminals. Every terminal should have a minimum of 4 functional handling equipment in their terminal.The terminal shall have good and cleared drainage.Have good access road.

“To stop any form of extortions of truckers by any bonded terminal staff and to place sanctions on any errant terminal.

“Customs should deploy Scanner machines at Apapa/Tincan port for easier and faster examinations of containerized goods than using the manual way.

“Should consider and dismantle the checking points some meters away from the ports mounted by the customs personnels.

“NPA should collaborate with the Lagos State Government in the erea of enforcement for the purpose of clearing the Oshodi -Apapa expressway and Apapa-Ijora against stationed trucks along the expressway.

“All the road blocks mounted by some security agents and touts  along Mile 2-Tincan axis, namely:-Fatgbems, Ottor Wharf and Sunrise should be dismantled with immediate effect.

“As these road blocks are being used for the extortions by security agents as they equally turn the expressway to their parking lot and it’s encouraging the gathering of syndicates who usually perfect fakes ETO call up documents to truckers.

“LASTMA personnel should be deployed to monitor and ensure no truck is parked on the expressway from Mile 2 to Tincan axis and equally Apapa – Ijora axis too.

“Truck with valid ETO call up document to be regulated by the system through approved parks to MOB Tincan Truck Park for easier access and monitoring to the various terminals at Tincan Port.

“MOB Tincan Truck Park exits gate to the port and Abuja gate to be the gates for the admittance of trucks to the terminals at theTincan port,” among other challenges.

Earlier, he lauded the efforts put in place so far to rid the roads of traffic even as he said 85 percent of the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway has restored confidence of port users.

“However, for the road construction interventions by DANGOTE, FMN and NPA for the construction of Wharf road from the port gate to Leventis bridge as their Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“The other major road constructions also from the Apapa Port gate to Tincan-Coconut -Mile 2 axis through Tax agreed arrangement between FG and DANGOTE, have restored confidence among maritime stakeholders as about 85% of the road  has been fixed, traffic and frequency of falling of container trucks have reduced drastically within the port access road and its environs.

“The steps taken by FG for the expanding the logistics chains for reviving the operations of Nigerian Railway Cooperation and Barge operation into the port to complement the land transport in order to reduce pressure on the roads, setting up the Presidential Task Team PTT, committees also set  by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Lagos State Government have yielded positive results that pave way for the road constructions.

“Apapa residents are driving freely to access their homes now with businesses in the commercial areas gradually picking up and introduction of the Electronic call up system, ETO by NPA.”

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