The West African Road Transport Owners (WARTO) has blamed corruption, especially among personnel of regulatory agencies along the port corridors as the major reason truckers boycotted the Lillypond Truck Transit Park.
The President of WARTO, Mr. Aloga Ogbogo who alleged this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Apapa said that, at a point regulatory agencies at the ports’ corridor abandoned trucks at the Lillypond park.
Explaining further, he said that some special trucks lobby agencies in other to drive straight to the ports without getting to the transit park.
"Let me tell you what is happening about that Lillypond. The reason truckers stop to go into Lillypond is because it was the policy to admit trucks at that Lillypond truck park before they can access the ports"
"But some trucks will come straight to the ports without entering the Lillypond, they will give the people along the corridor money and they will go straight to the ports".
According to him, "trucks at Lillypond park will stay there for up to three weeks. So truckers now said okay, they have compounded their problems"
"You asked trucks to come here at Lillypond or Tin Can park before they can access the ports, you now abandoned the trucks at the parks and you started admitting trucks directly into the ports".
Speaking on why the Tin Can Island park is not working optimally, Mr Ogbogbo who is also the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) said it will be impossible for the park to work optimally.
He blamed the inefficiency of the park to the bad state of the roads.
"I will say that optimal operation in this country is abstract, is there anything that is in place. You look at the roads; trucks have to stay up to two or three weeks before they can access the ports because the roads are bad. And the regulatory agencies are there on the roads collecting money"
"All these things are too much, it is impossible to have optimal operation in those areas"
Speaking further, he accused the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) of not living up to expectations.
"In the first instance, are the trucks supposed to stay on a queue for a long time before they are allowed to access the ports?”
"NPA has not done the needful, what was suggested before now was to create a truck holding bay. And when they access the holding bay, and then they are called to enter the port through call up system. A lot of solutions have been proffered"
"Again what strategies do we have in place for trucks accessibility. There is no singular truck that comes at the NPA gate they won't spend up to 20 minutes before accessing the ports"
He said that the misbehaviour being exhibited by some truck drivers is born out of desperation.
"And when you add these minutes together, it turns to a long queue. So the system its self is very terrible and because of that people do a lot of things out of desperation"
"For instance a truck driver comes to that place and stays up to six days, the money he is supposed to use to take care of himself will be exhausted and he won't take his bath for those number of days. So under that condition he does a lot of things that are incorrect"
"The question is – what are the regulatory agencies doing, are trucks supposed to stay for that number of days on the queue before they can access the ports", he asked.