Some labourers bringing down imported damaged vehicles from a container at Tin Can Island port, on Thursday last week
While some people are lamenting that the importation of damaged vehicles into the country is as a result of the high level of poverty in the country, artisans are lauding the importers of such vehicles, saying that it has been a source of steady income for them.
When Shipping Position Daily visited the Tin Can Island ports last week, some artisans maintained that importation of damaged vehicles does not only provide jobs to people like mechanics, electricians and all that, but also to those who render services such as moving those vehicles of the ports.
One of labourers who identified himself as Sikiru, told our correspondent that for every vehicle they help the owner to push out of the port premises, he is sure of some income.
“This is what I have been doing for some time now and to me it is better than stealing or involving myself in one crime or the other. If we help an importer or agent to push his vehicle out of the port premises, he gives us at least N500 and we will share. Some will give you more than that depending on the vehicle and how rich the person is. We also charge per distance”, said.
Another labourer who refused to disclose his identity said that he is always happy when he sees imported damaged vehicles, saying that it is an opportunity for him to make some money.
“When we see imported vehicles that cannot move, we know we have a job because definitely we will be asked to push the vehicle. If you bring in a jeep, the amount you give us is different from when you bring in a car. We also consider if the car has load , if there are loads we collect higher than when there are no loads”, he disclosed.
Explaining further, he said that the distance also determines, “Some will ask you to assist them in pushing it just out of the ports to a nearby warehouse where they can get a mechanic and for such persons we collect anything from N500. But if you are going somewhere like Coconut and you have loads in the car, we will collect from N1000 upwards, though there is no fixed price. Some people will give us more while other will give less”
“On a day when there are a lot of works to do, at least I go home with N500 daily because whatever the person brings we will share it. Sometimes we are more than two and we will share it equally”, he concluded.
Also speaking, a vehicle clearing agent, Chijioke Egbonuo, said that the labourers are always of immense importance to them especially when they have a critically damaged vehicles to clear.
“These guys are always very important to us most times. There are times you will have like two or more damaged vehicles that cannot move and you cannot leave them on the roads there; if not the police will disturb you. It is these guys that will help and push it for you as soon as the crane brings it out from the port and you are done with the necessary clearance”
An automobile mechanic at the Tin Can 2nd gate who gave his name as Mukaila said that he prefers imported damaged vehicles to new ones.
“I prefer imported damaged vehicles than new ones. When a damaged vehicle is imported, I will be called upon to come and do one or two works there and it is a source of income to me. It is also more affordable than the new ones”, he said.