The performance of MOB pertaining to eto call up is very low. There was an incident that happened recently over this call up of a thing. In the process we were trying to sort out the issue, the task force came and towed our trucks away. That day, when we got to the gate, the call up wasn’t ready while it has been paid for. So, they now directed us to park at the gate there under the flyover. We were on that when the task force came; they picked up almost five of our trucks and towed them away. None of the MOB workers could come and tell the task force reason why they asked us to park there. I had to recover my truck at Alausa and once your truck is taken to Alausa, demurrage starts counting from the day it is towed to the place. And the charge was piling up that even the owner is afraid because they gave a bill of N250,000 to pay and MOB is nowhere to be found and they were the one that instructed us to do that. So, I am tired of this call-up. If there should be any other alternative, it would be welcome by me.
It has been an up and down thing in the park here at MOB park. My major concern is the aspect of signing in and out before parking or moving out. This is where the headache comes from. Eto has been paid for, so what’s the rationale behind signing in and out of the park. I think that is where extortion starts from. This is because if you are coming in, MOB tells you to wait outside for you to be passed. There you are, taskforce comes to come and harass you for what you were instructed to do. I think this is where their lapse lies. Before now, it was not like this. You were supposed to come here and go when it is time for you to move your cargoes.
MOB as a truck park is not really treating us well in relation to the eto call-up implementation. Another challenge is that the truck owners do not usually get back to us as to what the agreement between them and MOB park management is. Sometimes, we are supposed to come in, they will tell us that their gates have not been opened and they will instruct us to park outside. This is when LASTMA would come and be pursuing us and tow our trucks away. It now looks like a planned work and probably they share the money they eventually get from us among themselves, no one knows. We keep on asking: why would you, that is supposed to be protecting us against all these extortions in line with eto mandate, be the same one pushing us out for security operatives to tow our vehicles away? This is not really funny.
They are trying but they still have their inadequacies. The efficiency on Mile 2 road is extremely weak. The trucks that usually occupy the line that comes from Mile 2 going to MOB, always stay longer than normal. If for instance, MOB signs let’s say 50 vehicles per day to enter the park, the line won’t be blocking unnecessarily and there would not be much traffic congestion. If 50 trucks leave at the same time, the road network would be free definitely. I think this is an area they should look into.
Without being sentimental, MOB is trying but my observation is about the gridlock that usually characterises Mile 2. Sometimes, eto would have passed trucks but MOB would tell you that you have not been signed in, hence, the entrance would not be granted. Sometimes, they would sign in 20 trucks today, tomorrow they might sign in 30 trucks; they have not been consistent in that. In this case, eto has little or no blame because truck owners or drivers would have made their payment for their call-ups but are now left for parks to order them in. We know that freight forwarders are on strike, which MOB can hold as a valid excuse, but when there was no protest or strike, the narrative was the same. Sleeping on the road for two or three weeks by truck drivers should be reduced; it adds no value to our work. It is just a way to delay us and we don’t know what good it is doing to them.
MOB truck park is trying. However, our problem now is the representative of the NURTW collecting money from us on a daily basis. Most of the time, when MOB does not open the gate for us to park, NURTW uses that medium to harass and forcefully extort us. And in a bid to convince them to collect probably N500 instead of the N1000 they are requesting, they would slap us. We are begging MOB to allow us in at least. Eto has cleared us and I think parking should not be our major challenge. Upon all these, I will not rule out the fact that MOB is performing its role to a large extent.
TTP is not trying at all. My reason for saying that is, whenever we come into the park and instead of them to pass us, they would refuse for a reason we don’t know. We will use four days here and at the end of the day, they would be requesting demurrage. We have seen some trucks that are going out which are supposed not to. The trucks would come and spend some minutes and before you know it, they are the next in line to go out. During the month of January, I spent 12 days here, waiting to be called up. We just had to go back home after we have paid demurrage for three days. It should not be.
The problem with TTP is the issue of trucks coming in and going out of the park when some have been on the queue for more than two weeks expecting to be called upon. This is cheating to most truck drivers. Who are the owners of these trucks that TTP cannot say no to whenever they come requesting an exit from the park? Most of us have spent weeks here waiting to be called up and someone will just come and before you know it, he is out. It shows that there is corruption somewhere. Someone has paid for that quick operation. This one I raised is for some of us that come here with flat bodies. To the exports, I usually pity them. They would be left unattended to by TTP and once you ask them the reason for their delay, no genuine excuse for it. This park should up its games and allow justice and equity to prevail. That is my thought.
Transit Truck Park (TTP) are doing their work perfectly well. Before now, everywhere is filled with trucks; no arrangement, and every truck driver could behave anyhow. But with the introduction of eto in collaboration with TTP, it is more than obvious now that sanity is back to our port. It is possible to hear other truck drivers complaining about their inadequacy due to one experience or the other but to me, kudos to them. They are indeed making efforts on a daily basis to ensure perfect orderliness in the park here.
TTP is trying its best. The challenge I see there is that there are so many trucks to deal with on a daily basis. I don’t have any reason to criticize them. If we are in their shoes, we might not be able to measure up in performance. It is easy to be looking from afar and be pointing accusing fingers but the truth of the matter is that I hail them; we can see their efforts. Many years ago, we know what this vicinity looked like but when they came, the rest is history.
I have always been a fan of eto call-up because it has really helped us. Before now, everywhere was usually full of trucks. But with the introduction of the eto call-up, orderliness has been restored. If I will rate them, I will rate them eight upon 10. There are shortcomings like delays but I think they have tried to manage situations like that. However, I think they are more of the beneficiary of the delay because once you exceed the number of days assigned you will start paying demurrage.