The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN); Princess Vicky Haastrup has declared that it is not the duty of the terminal operators to mandate truck drivers to latch their containers before leaving the terminals.
She explained that it is the responsibility of the security agencies that are assigned with such roles and not the terminal operators to ensure that trucks leaving the port are well latched.
“It is not the responsibility of terminal operators to assume such roles, we have security agencies of government who should ensure that when a container is leaving the ports, it is well latched, so terminal operators do not have such responsibility, it’s not under our purview at all” she said.
However, Nigerians have continued to express disaffection and grief over the rising cases of unlatched containers falling on road users during accidents.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that on July 26, 2020, one Chidinma Ajoku and her colleague Nnaekpe Victor had closed from work at the offices of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and were heading home when an unlatched container, from a moving truck, fell on their bus at Ilasamaja Bus Stop in Lagos and killed them, alongside one Daniel Okwuoge.
Also few weeks after, specifically August 21, another container fell on a vehicle, killing two women at Odo Olowu Bus Stop at Ijesha area in Lagos.
In June of 2018, a fully loaded truck fell off the Ojuelegba Bridge, crushing cars just as another at Ojuelegba in April of 2019, killing occupants of the vehicle it fell on.
Meanwhile in a recent chat with the Lagos state sector commander of Federal Road Safety Corps, Olusegun Ogungbemide, he informed our correspondent that the command made 368 arrests over trucks with unlatched containers in the last two weeks of “Operation Scorpion”; an intervention specifically created to arrest unlatched containers and drivers.
He said that the command had set up three different enforcement interventions to curb the menace of unlatched container truckers on the road.
“Operation Scorpion was set up to check the menace of the unlatched container trucks that are falling in Lagos metropolis.
He said in the first week, the operation arrested 218 trucks and impounded 208. While fifty of the drivers were presented before the Magistrate during in mobile court.
However, Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria Princess Vicky Haastrup insisted that security agents would need to do more to ensure that containers are properly latched on the trucks conveying them from the ports.