Truckers under the auspices of TinCan Island Port Truck Operators claim that they pay a minimum of N18,000 every 48 hours to operators of holding bays.
The coordinator of the group, Sylvanus Keshinro, in a chat with Financial Street on Thursday, also alleged extortion by agencies deployed to monitor free flow of traffic.
He, however, beckoned the government to monitor the activities of the agencies.
“Government should monitor activities at the Sunrise–Mile 2 the combined operatives of Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Ports Authority personnel were milking transporters of their hard-earned money,” said.
Another trucker, Patrick Okonkwo, lamented that the designated holding bays collect huge sums of money from them before they could drop their empties.
He added that they charge demurrage if one could not gain access at the right time.
Okonkwo stressed that additional N16,000 was deducted as demurrage charges after 48 hours, describing the e-call-up system, codenamed Eto, as a fraud.
He also reaffirmed that most of the shipping companies lack holding bays, which affect the operations of truckers, causing undue delay on the movement of trucks out of the port.
“E call-up system is fraudulent because we are not supposed to pay any form of money. NPA said they want to decongest Apapa, that everybody should go to the parks, which is a welcome development. You can stay in your park and generate your call-up with your Terminal Delivery Order, but that is not what is obtainable. Therefore, the call-up system is not free and that is why we say it is fraudulent. The last transaction I made was N18,000.
“The call up system is supposed to be by a trip and not on 48 hours basis as instructed by the NPA,” he noted.
Francis Okechukwu, a trucker, lauded the introduction of Eto, but lamented that truckers were faced with extortions by the government agencies deployed to the corridor.
He called on NPA to make each call-up ticket to last for a trip, instead of just 48 hours, which, he said, was not enough sometimes to gain entrance into the port.
“We want the government to make the e-call up system by trip and not 48 hours basis. The 48 hours expiration of the call-up makes no meaning because the roads are not in good condition while returning empty containers to the port,” he said.
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