Maritime truckers blame govt policy for ‘destroying’ Nigerian Railways
• Warn of road haulage risking a similar fate
Fretful of any issue that could jeopardise on-going efforts to inject new trucks into the system, as part of efforts to sanitise their subsector, road haulage operators in the maritime industry have warned that any unfavourable policy government may emerge with could easily sound the death knell for their businesses.
While not mentioning any specific policy, there was no mistaking the angst in his voice as Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, spoke to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
Ogungbemi is one of those piloting moves through which private investors plan to supply 2,000 units of brand-new trucks, and provide a truck marshaling yard, as part of a project to replace rickety trucks and rid the roads, notably the Lagos ports access roads, of seemingly perennial gridlock.
The AMATO boss said: “It is policy that destroyed the rail system. Trucks ought to be complementing the rail system, but policies destroyed the rail system. So, I pray, let the authorities not roll out a policy that will make it immical for us to break even, and to sustain the plan that is on ground.”
The major objective of the project, according to him, is to change the face of trucks operating in the maritime industry.
He explained that 120 units of the expected 2,000 to be supplied the truckers on hire-purchase have arrived from the suppliers, while induction and refreshers courses have commenced for the drivers on the operations of the state-of-the art trucks.