Truckers Threaten To Embark On Indefinite Strike On Monday  

Unhappy with what they called unhealthy working conditions, truckers under the auspices of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) and the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Corporate Fleet Owners, have decided to embark on an indefinite strike starting from Monday, 15th May 2017.The truckers said this on Wednesday in Lagos at the meeting of the Amalgamation of Trucking Associations with others in the maritime sector, even as they announced the dissolution of the Joint Council of Seaport Truck Operators (JCOST) to be taken over by a new committee, called Amalgamation of Trucking Associations (ATA).Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the new steering committee, Mr. Victor Nnorom, who has been charged with the responsibility of conducting a fresh election into JCOST said that the association will be going with the name, Amalgamation of Trucking Associations (ATA) pending when it gets a new name or decided to go with the name.Mr Nnorom also maintained that the problem of truckers is lack of unity, because they speak with different voices, thus making it impossible for the government to listen to them.Accepting his new assignment, he said:  “I thank the organizers of this event for putting heads together to organize an event like this. It is no longer news that all the ports link roads are nightmares for people especially, importers and truckers. Importers now think of alternative routes instead of coming to Apapa”“The maritime sector in Nigeria is gradually dying and the operators are to be blamed because they have refused to be united. They have refused to come together and speak with one voice. I am using this opportunity to urge you all to speak with one voice ion other to get the needed attention from the government”, he noted.Meanwhile one of the speakers at the event ; Mr. Paul Alama, complained of the rate at which truckers are extorted by security agencies attached to the ports.He urged all members to embark on an immediate and indefinite strike until the government listens to them.Justifying his position, he said, “the force the government used to place the N10, 000 ticketing is much and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on their own side is using force to implement the speed limiter, forgetting that the roads are speed limiters on their own. All the security agencies at the ports are aimed at victimizing truckers at every point. I don’t think the government has any plans of repairing the link roads and the worst part of it all is that when these containers fall off the truck, the importers will hold the 5truck owners responsible”“I am suggesting that truckers go on an indefinite and immediate strike starting from Monday, 15th ,   so that the government will know that that we are serious and listen to us unless you push the powers to be, they might not do anything” he said.Speaking in like manner, the President of Corporate Fleet Owners; Mrs. Foluke Judge, said that the government has succeeded in dividing the associations so that they will not speak with one voice. She also advised that they meet with other people doing their business in Apapa to join them in the peaceful protest.“Before now, the former General Manager of the Nigerian Ports Authority, advised us to be having meeting regularly so as to be more untied. We have a lot of challenges that we are facing in this ports. But the government has been able to divide the association because they do not want a solution to the problems we are facing here. We are not going to collapse any association but we all speak with one voice” she stated.