The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has called on the shipping companies to provide more stacking areas for trucks to avoid problems facing the truck drivers.
Its National Secretary of NARTO, Mr Aloga Ogbogo, made the appeal in an interview in Lagos on Wednesday.
Ogbogo, who is also the President of the West African Transport Union (WARTU), spoke while reacting to the protest staged by truck drivers on Tuesday in Apapa, Lagos.
Ogbogo said: “It has become imperative to stop “inhuman treatment of truck drivers.
“The shipping companies, mandatorily by law, are supposed to have container stacking areas.
“They are to stack the containers there and plan to move the containers at night to the port to avoid problems.
The national secretary of NARTO advised the shipping companies to have stacking zones for trucks to eliminate the suffering of truck drivers at the port.
According to him, in the situation where all shipping companies want to bring containers at the same time to the port, there will be problem.
He added that most terminal operators did not have sufficient cargo handling equipment which were part of the operational problems.
The NARTO scribe said that the reason most trucks were not accessing the port was usually due to system failure attributed to computer break down.
Ogbogo, who called for the repair of the access road in Apapa to the port, said that the road was in a very bad state.
“It is also important that at the Tin Can axis, there should be some palliatives. The road is bad and that is the only road leading to the port now.
“The shipping companies should have parking areas to address the recurrent traffic gridlock,” Ogbogo said.
On the union’s strike, the secretary said that if truck drivers went on rampage , it could be because of the dehumanising condition they found themselves.
According to him, with the current situation, it can take a truck 10 days to access the port.
He also decried the alleged extortion of truck drivers by port operators to the tune of about N250, 000 to pick a container at the port.
“There are a lot of multinational conspiracy going on in the NPA and overzealousness of the security people on truck drivers,” he said.
The NARTO secretary, however, said that normalcy had returned to the port and the drivers had returned to work.