The Association of Maritime Truck Owners has threatened to completely withdraw its services at the Nigerian ports, to protest irregularities in the implementation of Truck Electronic Call-Up System for trucks being coordinated by Nigerian Ports Authority.
The chairman, Mr Remi Ogungbemi, told Financial Street that the association had instructed all truck drivers to place green leaves on their trucks as from Thursday (today) till further notice.
Ogungbemi further disclosed that the electronic call-up system otherwise known as Eto was not working well.
He alleged that trucks without Eto tickets were gaining entrance into the ports faster than those with genuine Eto tickets, especially at night.
The AMARTO helmsman nevertheless said plans were underway to restructure the platform.
“I was privileged to meet with certain officials and I was made to understand that we should expect some restructuring soonest.
“Though I don’t know how soon that will be, the earlier the concerned authorities do the needful, the better for them,” he said.
Ogungbemi, however, demanded that the Lagos State government’s implementation team, LASTMA, and committee on abandoned trucks, should be called to order.
According to him, they should be asked to desist from indiscriminate arresting, towing, impounding and slamming of outrageous, unreceipted bills as ransom for the release of trucks.
Other demands of the association include “Proper regulation/programming of movement of all the trucks in a way every truck driver would know when it is his turn to hit the road.
“Centralisation/transparency in the release of all trucks in a way such that all traffic controllers, truck owners, terminal operators, agents and others, would have the details of the trucks that are authorised at the transit park or ports.”
He recounted as further demands, the “immediate intervention/unconditional release of all trucks with valid Eto tickets under LASTMA or abandoned under their detention.”
Moreover, he urged the investigation of towing trucks whose owners have become a conduit pipe for defrauding truckers in the name of working for the government.
Ogungbemi reiterated that while awaiting the intervention of the relevant authorities such as the NPA, being the technical regulator, and Nigerian Shippers Council as the economic regulator of the ports, the truckers would continue to hold onto the leaves on their trucks as a warning.
In a message to all truck drivers at the Lagos ports, the association boss said, “As a sign and warning towards the total withdrawal of services against all the anomalies perpetrated against truckers by LASTMA, ABANDON, you are hereby instructed to start placing green leaves on your trucks from tomorrow being April 22, till further notice.
“Enough of making truckers scapegoats for the shortcoming of others. Just remain calm while waiting for the intervention by the relevant authority.”
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