The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria(MWUN) has accused shipping lines operating in Nigeria of deliberately causing traffic gridlock in the two approaches to Lagos at Tin and Apapa.
In a statement signed by the President General of the union; Comrade Adewale Adeyanju fingered MAERSK LINE, PIL, MSC and MOL of deliberately keeping the trucks and their laden containers as means of attracting demurrage payment daily “from our already over burdened members, truck owners and their drivers.”
“As a major stakeholder in the maritime sector whose members and activities have been negatively affected by the gridlock on the access roads to the ports especially in Tin Can and Apapa ports, we have painstakingly studied the causes of the gridlock and have identified the following shipping companies as responsible for the gridlock”, the union said.
In the statement, the MWUN stated that “Nigerians, especially Lagosians, are living witnesses to the continuous pains, danger, suffering, and intractable gridlock that heavy duty trucks have been causing over the years on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway with its negative economic consequences”.
Stressing that, the situation is no longer acceptable, the union alleged that the multinational shipping companies deliberately frustrate all efforts to enforce free flow of traffic on the roads leading to Lagos ports.
The union said: “They (shipping lines) operate along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and do not have holding bays in absolute disregard to regulations and standards which provide that a shipping company must have a holding bay before going operational. In consequence, these companies have converted the major express road to their holding bays and packing lots thereby hindering free flow of traffic”.
“We are using this medium to call on the Federal Government and State Government to within the next 21 days call these companies to order and compel them to stop using their private businesses to cause public nuisance.
“If at the end of the 21 days notice the appropriate government agencies fail to address our demand, the Union shall have no other option than take appropriate and necessary industrial action to protect our members and other road users such as Truck owners, drivers and the public at large.
The MWUN pleaded with government agencies in the ports to ensure that the shipping lines to call the shipping lines to order so as to avoid the looming industrial action.