The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday said that the implementation of the minimum standards for haulage at the ports would commence on Oct. 2.
The Apapa Port Manager, Mr Anas Nasir, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the new haulage policy would be inaugurated at Lagos ports with an awareness campaign for truck drivers.
Nasir said the strategy was necessitated by the truck owners association’s appeal to NPA to make the operational standards implementation a gradual process and also safeguard their business.
“We are going to adopt a gradual approach in enforcing the minimum standards for operational trucks at the port following the association’s appeal.
“Being the last quarter of the year there may be high demand for their services and if it may harm their business if a number of them cannot operate, ’’Nasir said.
The port manager, however, noted that adopting a mild approach for now did not mean safety standards would be compromised.
He stressed the need for truck drivers’ education on maintenance as part of the required standards.
“It will just be for a period to allow the drivers to key into the new agreement and requirement and it is hoped that they will take it seriously.
“If rickety trucks are not patronised by the agents the truck owners would be forced to maintain the minimum standards.’’
Chief Remi Ogungbemi, the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), said an awareness campaign should precede the minimum standard implementation.
He said since the trucks were manufactured outside Nigeria more time should be given to truck owners to overhaul their fleet.
Ogungbemi also said that most truck owners were unable to maintain their trucks because of the burden of multiple levies imposed on them by different government agencies.
“The truck maintenance had been a great challenge as a result of the multiple levies truck owners pay to different agencies of government regularly.
“After such payments truck owners have very little money left to care of themselves and also maintain their trucks.
“It is particularly difficult each time a truck breaks down on the road in Lagos.The state traffic agency, LASTMA, has not made the problem lighter.
“The truck owners and the drivers are going through tough times and the public should know this,” Ogungbemi said.
Under the new policy, NPA’s truck minimum standards focuses on truck head, carriage unit, tyres, vehicle particulars and warning devices
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