From all indications, tanker drivers are unhappy with the services of APM Terminal; one of the terminal operators in Apapa port over what the drivers call nonchalance and inefficiency of the staff to drivers.
Some of the drivers, who spoke to Shipping Position Daily in Apapa, accused the terminal operator of negligence and inefficiency, thereby subjecting the drivers to unnecessary suffering and stress.
According to one of the drivers, Deji Adebayo, he accused staff of the terminal operator of using the computer that was supposed to be used for work to be doing their personal business.
“Some of us have spent up to seven days here now on this queue, AP Moller does not know their work. Most of their staff; instead of using the computer to do what they are supposed to do, they use it to watch movies and doing other frivolities. They don’t know their work. As it stands now, I do not even know when will be leaving this place”, he lamented.
He also accused the Police of collecting money to be able to allow truckers to drive against the traffic to Apapa.
Speaking further, he added: “Here if you want to drive one way to the port as far as you can pay the police between N30, 000 to N40, 000, they will allow you assess into the port. Then if you succeed in entering the port to load, to come out becomes another problem. There is no provision for our welfare here, no place to sleep and bathe. You can see for yourself how dirty this place is. My advice to the terminal operator is to ensure the use of computer. If they are using the computer the way it is supposed to be used it makes the passage easier and faster and not using the computer to be going on Facebook”.
Another driver; Ibrahim Hassan, said that the drivers cannot really say what the cause of the delay is, but sometimes when some staff of APM Terminal go to pray there is always delay.
“We don’t even know what the cause of this delay here is, but I feel some went to pray while others went for break that is what I feel could be causing this unnecessary delay here at the gate”
He also blamed some of the drivers as the cause of the delay due to their inability to present custom duty at the gate.
“Some drivers do not have custom duty and that causes unnecessary delay, some will go inside and collect the duty before coming back to their truck. Some of these containers are for export and we have spent days here still it has not got to our turn”.
Speaking further, he said that the decision by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) not to allow motor boys assess into the wharf with their drivers is really affecting the drivers.
“The decision by NPA that drivers should go in without their motor-boys is really affecting the drivers. Because sometime after loading your truck, it might develop fault and because you are there lone with no help or assistance from anybody, what is supposed to take 10mins to fix might take you longer time. Because of the type of stress in this work, I will never allow my child to be a driver” he concluded.
Meanwhile the General Secretary of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) Mr. Chiaka Nwaogu, said that the association has written several times to the government to come and check the activities of APM Terminal.
He also said that because of the numerous stress truck owners are facing, the association has erected a modern toilet and bathroom to make them comfortable while they are waiting for their drivers.
“On our own, we have written several letters to the government to come and check what this terminal operator is doing but the government because of their interest failed to do what they should do. When you try to talk to the terminal operators, they will not listen to you because they know they have the backup of government”, he lamented.