NARTO Members Protest Apapa Ports’ Extortions, Gridlock
…Calls on Sanwo-Olu to intervene
Members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) Lagos State Branch yesterday marched peacefully to the Governor’s Office at Alausa Ikeja to register their grievances over extortions and unfavorable policies which has been hindering facilitation of trade in the ports.
Speaking to journalists at the Governor’s Office, Apapa Chairman of NARTO, Comrade Wale Oladeinde said their presence at Alausa was to register their displeasure with what the members are passing through between Tin Can and Apapa axis.
According to him, they are been exploited in the process of doing their legitimate business between Apapa and Tin Can Island.
“Sometimes, we pay over N200, 000 to load a container from Apapa and despite that, our drivers sleep on the road for as long as one month without even accessing the port.
“And after payment sometime people will turn back our trucks under the pretence that inside the port is congested.
“When they brought ETO, we thought our troubles are over. He said they told us that the access to the ports will be free for us. They promised us that we cannot spend more than N10, 000 to register our vehicle in the app.
But at the end of the day, some people gather together with the collaboration of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to form another illegal ETO where people are now paying more than N150, 000 to access the ports. Since then we have been calling on the government to come to our aid, but there is no result.
That’s why we have to come out and let the people what we are to see what we are facing. Government should come and sanitise the Tin Can Ports. This is Lagos. Lagos State Government should come to our aid. The governor has tried his best by coming to Apapa. At the end of the day the people that were sent to implement the ETO collaborate and making money for themselves. I don’t see any reason why Area Boys will come to the road and begin to collect money from the truck drivers. Police are not helping matter.
We don’t have access to ministry of transportation. Sometimes they will seize our trucks and say it’s an abandoned and we will made to pay 250, 000. We have more than 100 trucks.
Prince Hassan Adekoya, Lagos Task Force Chairman, who spoke on behalf of Alhaji Kayode Odunowo, Chairman Lagos NARTO, called on President Buhari, who has done well in the area of infrastructure and especially rail, to intervene and prevail on the management of NPA to curtail the situation. He said Governor Sanwo-Olu who is the fastest and an action governor should come to their rescue. “Things are no longer going well with us in Apapa. They extort us. They unlawfully hijacked our trucks. They bill us outrageous bills N30000, and so on. NPA polices are not favourable to us. We need a review of the ports policies. The Governor Has tried. They extort our members daily. They hijacked our trucks. The enforcement team it’s getting worse. He called on the government to review the policies governing the ports.
Consequently, the letter of protest was deliver to Mr. Wale Oni, Director Civil Engagement in the Governor’s Office who promised them that Governor Sanwo-Olu will look into their grievances in due course.