Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mallam Habib Abdullahi has officially flagged off enforcement of the implementation of minimum standard for haulage trucks doing business at the ports in Lagos.
No fewer than 2,000 trucks have complied with the minimum standards.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, which held yesterday at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa gate, Abdullahi stated that the primary objective of the exercise was to ensure safety and security of port users, entrench accountability and public safety.
Speaking on the protest against the N10, 000 vehicle entry permit fee by a section of truck owners, Abdullahi urged them to fall in line, saying that the money should have been more.
He said that the standardisation of trucks is part of the core responsibilities of NPA by ensuring that trucks accessing the ports meet acceptable international standards.
“For a very long time we have been experiencing containers falling down and killing innocent citizens, this is of great concerns to us and we feel that to go along with international standard, it is our responsibility to ensure that all trucks getting into the port are maintained and secured as done in other countries.
“The fact that people are paying N10,000 per annum is to ensure the administrative cost and we are even subsidising it,” Abdullahi said.
He urged truck operators to report cases of extortion by any security official at port gates to his office.
“Get the person that ever extort you and get the name tags of the personnel and come to me,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, General Manager, Western Ports of NPA, Chief Michael Ajayi noted that so far, over 2,000 trucks including those belonging to fleet owners, terminal operators, such as GDNL, a subsidiary of Dangote Group, ENL and flour Mills of Nigeria and others have keyed into the exercise.
He said despite the resistance to the payment of N10,000 by some truck associations, NPA has received tremendous encouragement from corporate independent fleet owners who have done their certification and paid the required fee.
President of Corporate Independent Fleet Truck Owners Association, Mrs. Folake George pledged the cooperation of the group to NPA even as she appealed to other associations who were yet to embrace the exercise to do so.
“We are collaborating with NPA, we believe in their dream for minimum standard, we are in support of the N10, 000 levy per annum, we are in alliance with them, we have registered our trucks that have met the minimum standard.
”We are appealing to the other associations to fall in line, they are kicking against the N10,000, but the fact is that we don’t want a porous gate,” she said.
She said that her members who have complied have all been given the NPA stickers, with their trucks are going in and out of the ports undisturbed.
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