The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has assured that it will soon begin a clampdown on rickety trucks that do not meet the minimum standard operating procedures (SOP) required to operate in the ports.
Speaking exclusively to Shipping Position Daily correspondent, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication of the organization, Mr Adams Jatto said the agency is currently aligning with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Lagos state ministry of transportation to ensure compliance with all the prerequisite guidelines for trucks coming into the port .
He noted that the authority had relaxed in recent time due to the activities that is going on in the port corridor, which he said must have informed the recent increase in the number of rickety trucks in the port.
In a chat with our correspondent the Vice President of Corporate Fleet Owners Association, Mr. Leye Thompson stated that the association has already taken steps to ensure that its members whose trucks are not in good shape fixed it before going into the port to carry consignment.
He noted that only few members of the association are yet to comply, while confirming that NPA will begin clampdown of trucks that do not meet the prerequisite standard.
“Yes we’ve called a general meeting and we have dispensed it to them that everybody should put their trucks in order especially those with FIAT trucks to try to put them in proper shape and I think recently, I have seen a lot of people do that”
“A large number of them have complied with the directive; like six or few of them have not done that, if your truck is not in proper shape, there is no way you can even approach Lillypond because there is going to be a safety department that will look into that. So if your truck is not roadworthy and it’s not fit to be in the port to lift any consignment, you will not be allowed to go into the port” he said.
On his part, the Vice Chairman of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Dry Cargo section, Alhaji. Abdullahi Muhammad Inua, noted that there has been an improvement in the number of rickety trucks in the port, he said before now, over 100 rickety trucks go into the port to carry containers, stating that the recent MOU signed by NPA and FRSC will further reduce the number of rickety trucks that go into the port.
“I think there is an improvement, before now when the roads are bad we do have more than 100 of that, but we thank the government for helping us to fix these roads, and the number of rickety trucks begins to reduce. I believe that in the nearest future, we won’t see that anymore, and I think with the recent MOU that NPA have with FRSC, any rickety trucks will not be allowed to do business in the port”, he said.
Speaking also with our correspondent, the sector commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) Ogun State, Oladele Clement, stated that as soon as the Federal Government completes the Apapa rail project that will link the Ibadan inland Dry port, many of the trucks will not be allowed to used the road, while adding that FRSC has been in talks with the leadership of the truckers’ association to ensure that they put their trucks in good shape.
Where these rickety trucks become more challenging is the Lagos-Ibadan expressway the biggest corridor in the whole of Africa, but we keep on talking to their leadership to ensure that they get their trucks repaired because already they are building a dry port in Ibadan when it is completed and the rail is also completed we won’t allow any trucks to follow Lagos Ibadan express way.
“The rail will originate from Apapa port and it will take all the cargoes to the dry port in Ibadan, so the truckers will just go to Ibadan to go and load and the strategy is that, we will keep on extending it, we will have another dry port in Ilorin and we keep extending until the whole of the country is networked, so that there will be no need for people to use such trucks, so the kind of trucks that will be used will be light truck for home delivery”.