Compiled by Oluwatoyin Amao
Yes, it is and has really helped to control the amount of trucks on the Apapa road and also in the port. However, it is not easy getting access to the card; I have spent up to a week now on the road and still the agent in charge of the company I work, for has not been able to get the card. One has to pay to get the card, the last trip I came for before this recent one, the agent paid N10, 000 to get the card. What I don’t also like about this system is that there is validity period for the usage of the card. For instance, if the card is issued to you at 8pm and the truck does not get access into the port because of congestion of trucks; by 8am the next day the card expires. The navy is doing a good job but with the help of the government, this card can be given to the truck drivers free because we spend a lot through getting our loading paper approved. I want to commend the effort of the Navy because this has really helped to curb the gridlock of Apapa/Wharf road compared to last year and few months ago.
The truck call-up card system is working. It is a bit easy getting access to the card between two to three days of applying for it but the queue for it, is always long. Aside from the stress of applying for the card, you still have to pay for it; as from N10,000 and above, depending on how connected you are.Some other expenses are made even after getting the card, for instance if there is delay in getting the loading paper, one have to bribe with N1,000 or N2,000 to get the paper. The most annoying thing is that once you get the call up card and you are unable to make use of it that day, the next day it expires. Then you have to repeat the entire process all over again to get another card.
I like the concept; because it has helped ease the traffic on the Apapa/Wharf road. The Navy is doing a good job because before you pay for the card, they ask if the loading paper for the container is ready before giving a card to you. If the loading paper isnot ready, you will not be issued the call-up card. As at the time I came to offload the goods in the port, that is the period the Navy started issuing the card. It was free but now one has to pay for it before you can get it. This is my second trip but I have not got the card yet because I am waiting to hear from the company who owns the truck to know if they have got the call-up card.I heard from other drivers that one has to pay to get the card. I want the government to urge Naval officers to release the card on time to trucks that have their loading papers ready.
Accessing the card entails too much stress, the person in charge of the transport section of the company I work for is the one that gets the card and brings it to me on the queue. On the card, it is written the time I take the truck inside the port.I have spent three weeks on this Apapa road and still I have not been able to get into the port. The first week, the manager got the card for like three times and when it is my turn to get into the port, the officers both Navy and Army will tell me the port is congested with so many trucks and there is no space for more trucks. That means the card given to me for that particular day expires the next day and each card cost N5,000 to get, the manager has spent N20,000 to get this card but all to no avail because I am yet to offload the goods in the container. The government needs to see to this and speak to the Navy who is in charge of this card. Though it is an effective system, the issuethe card’s validity has to stop because it is a way of making more income after paying a lot to get the loading papers ready.
The transport manager of the company is the person that gets the card from the Navy; he gives it to me and tells me the time to get into the port. The card is working perfectly well and once I got the card, I was able to get into the port. I have been lucky with it but some other drivers are not because when they get the card and they are unable to use it that day, it expires the next day and that means they have to get another one. I give kudos to the Navy for bringing up this initiative and helping us get easy movement into the port.
The card is working because there is easy movement of trucks into the port unlike last year, when one had to go through hell before getting into the port. I have spent almost three weeks and I am yet to get into the port because of congestion.Getting the card is not easy at all and one has to be connected with some Army/Navy officers to get the card easily. This is quite expensive; the agent in charge of the company I work for gets it for N20,000 from the Navy officers. If after getting the card and it is not used that same day, it expires the next day which means one have to keep getting a new card till one is able to get into the port. Government should come to our aid and put a solution to this issue of the call-up card.
Getting this call-up card is a big problem; it should be given to us free but the transport manager of my company said he pays N20,000 to get the card each time he wants it. In addition, it is written on the card that it becomes invalid if not used the day it is issued. This is the second week I have been on this road and yet I have not been able to get into the port, every time it is my turn. I am told to do a U-turn because there is no space in the port; this makes the card issued to me invalid. Though this card system that Navy brought up is good, the government should make something that would be easier for us to get into the port.
The introduction of this card has helped truck drivers get easy access into the port. It has stopped the rush drivers go through getting into the port. As you can see there is a queue for those of us still waiting to get the card. This is the third day I am spending on the road; the transport manager of the company I work for has assured me that I would get the call-up card. It is only then I can take the truck into the port but without that, I can’t into the port. Government should intervene and simplify the process of obtaining the call-up card and there should be no validity date on it.
The card is really helping the truck drivers and also easing movement on the Apapa/Wharf road.I have not got the card yet and I have spent 20 days on this road. It is not easy getting the card; you have to spend a lot before you can get this and it shouldn’t be so. Government has to intervene and come to our aid by making this card free.
The card has brought a lot of relief to us. Before its introduction, we do pay like N60,000 before getting into the port but with this card, we pay N5,000 to obtain it, in order to have access to the port. I have spent up to 2 weeks on this Wharf road because my loading paper is not ready; this has delayed my application for the call-up card. The card I got the first week expired due to my loading papers but I believe once my paper is ready I will get the card. I want to plead to the government to make available another terminal for containers to get their goods and also offload because the main port and Tin-Can port is always congested.
The card has helped ease the congestion on Apapa road because without this card, truck drivers cannot get access into the port. Once you get to Apapa, you are sure of the time and day you will go into the port not like last year that you have to spend so many days and weeks on the road without knowing when you will get into the port. With this card,if your loading papers are complete, you are able to pay for the card, then one will spend three to four days on the road in total. I want the government to stop the Navy from collecting money for the card.
With the introduction of the card last month, Navy has really done well for us but getting the card is not an easy means. So many expenses go into getting into the card even after getting the card, one still has to bribe some other officers to offload or get your goods. Government needs to put a stop to all the touts at the port that collect bribes from us.
Getting this card is the best because without this card, no access into the port and this has allowed easy movement in the port. Navy has done well by implementing this initiative but they need to put a stop to the money collected for the card because it is really on the high side. The cost has affected truck drivers; if there is no money, you cannot get into the port. I will want the government to come to our aid on this particular issue of the call-up card.
Copyright 2018 Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.