In search of integrity

A number of issues that play out in different aspects of life, go miles to reflect something that people should understand and learn something from.

No doubt, every businessman wants to be sure he is dealing with someone he can trust and always return to confidently.

For thousands of people who come into the port city of Apapa for various business concerns, facing the tortuous traffic gridlock has never been the best for it.

But each time it happens people simply bear the pains and hope   that the return journey would be fair; sometimes it could be, and at other times, might not. But on a fateful Wednesday recently, the cause of the tortuous traffic jam was not known until people managed to get into Apapa.

Some trucks had blocked the entrance gate into the port and they were not interested in any plea to make peace, because they were aggrieved; not to worry, it was not entirely new to those who know. But not until the cause of the action by the truck drivers became known; alleged extortion!

The drivers protested, saying that one of them had refused to part away with additional money as ‘settlement’ to the security operatives at the port gate to allow him drive in. And the extortion story went on in a long stretch. The drivers said they had always settled the security operatives an agreed amount, which had grown from about N5, 000 to more.

It is that bad that the moment people are put in positions to ensure orderliness and keep checks, they introduce negative actions; not one that gave them the opportunity of that job. They systematically become tin gods, who call the shots and make things happen their own way.

For such operatives who are scattered about different sectors in businesses, surely do not represent the right interest of their employers. They are in business when there is chaos and disorderliness, so that people can feel helpless and look up to them for help, which can only be given at a fee.

It shows just how cheap such actions make integrity become. It is also worrisome to note that during troubled moments, people who are in leadership positions become difficult to reach to clarify information.

When newsmen call for information, it is simply to enable them guide members of the general public who need the information to make informed decisions. Unfortunately however, people avoid giving the needed information, and here, we are still talking integrity.

The fact that the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority had earlier talked about working to ensure that corrupt practices did not take place at the ports revealed that such an act must have been taking place.

It will be beneficial of all stakeholders if the discussions between the ports authority and the concerned parties can give thorough attention to the core issues that led to the trouble.

At this point, it will very important that the concerned authority addresses the issue of the holding bay for trucks; where they can stay without trouble.  As is suggested from concerned quarters, the availability of a truck holding bay will minimize the number of trucks that come out daily to mill around the port and many times, end up not being engaged. And if the trucks are not out in large numbers, they would not be taken advantage of.

A word for the truck drivers too, that, as attention is being given to the issue which led to their protests, they should purpose not to outsmart one another, with the aim of wanting to make more trips.

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