Apapa gridlock: Truck drivers accuse Navy of extortion

Operatives of the Nigerian Navy are cashing in heavily on the gridlock in Apapa as they now ‘charge’ N2,000 on every truck passing through Ijora to Apapa.

A truck driver who identified himself as Chika told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that any truck driver that fails to part with the money is either stopped on the road or gets the tyres of his truck deflated by the naval officials.

“This is not new. They have always collected money from us but with the traffic congestion, they have doubled the money they collect from drivers to N2,000 per truck,” he stated.

Another truck driver, Taju, who said he has been on the road between Ijora and Apapa for about 28 hours, said the navy is not alone in the extortion of truckers in Apapa.

“We have to pay each of them. On average, you need about N10,000 to settle the security people and LASTMA for every trip to Apapa. The Police at Area Barracks bus stop will collect their own, LASTMA, road safety, different task forces and even local government officials are all waiting for us as we go about our businesses,” Taju stated.

Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, confirmed the development to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.

“This extortion of our members will continue until government takes the bull by the horn and address the issue squarely. The major problem we have right now is the absence of a holding bay for our trucks and that is why you see a lot of trucks on the road.

“But if the Lagos State Government can accede to our request and approve a space for us to develop as holding bay, then those trucks you see will not need to be on the road. They will have a place to park from where they will be called up when needed,” Ogungbemi stated.

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