Truckers under the aegis of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have accused shipping lines of using their trucks as their holding bays and also subjecting their drivers to avoidable stress.
The Chairman, Dry Cargo section of NARTO, Alhaji Abdul Inuwa, who disclosed this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, also said that the shipping companies have devised means of ensuring that the container deposit are not refunded to importers.
“Sending the containers direct to the ports because once the deposit on the container is paid, they will not get the deposit back. Because as soon as you return the container they will start telling you that you have stayed very long. Now before you access the ports from where ever you are, let us say from the Stadium or Mile2, it will take you weeks before you access the ports. So they have been counting the days that the container stays outside and they will be collecting the money from the container deposit”.
Reacting to the statement credited to the Traffic Manager, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Victor Oginni, that agents are no more allowed to return empty containers to seaports, Inuwa challenged Mr. Oginni to mention the holding bays for receiving empty containers.
“Please help me to ask the traffic manager if he can mention where the holding bays for receiving these empty containers are, if there is, we challenge him to tell us so that we will send our officers to be there and confirm it. As I am speaking with you the last time they published in some national daily we sent some of our members to go there, they said they are not aware”
“So I challenge the Traffic Manager to show us the holding bay where they are receiving and we will send our own desk officer to go and confirm that and we will comply with it”, he concluded.