Stakeholders meeting over truckers’ strike ends in deadlock

A stakeholders meeting convened by haulage truck operators yesterday to find solution to the strike action embarked upon by the truck owners and drivers ended without concrete resolution as no decision was taken to end the strike.

Speaking at the meeting which held in Apapa and had in attendance representatives of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), haulage companies and other stakeholders, General Manager, Western Port of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Micheal Ajayi said the government was only taking on its responsibility of protecting its citizens by restricting the truck movement of trucks to a night time.

He said it was sad that trucks fall and kill innocent people always even as he urged the truck operators to seek redress in court if they are aggrieved with the Lagos State government’s restriction order.

Representative of the NSC, Chief Cajetan Agu said that while the stakeholders had gathered to work out the possibility of calling off the strike, the truck operators should also ensure they would henceforth maintain their trucks.

He said that he was sure the Lagos State Government would rescind the restriction order if the truck operators submit a letter of undertaking to keep their trucks in good order and desist from driving on bridges.

Commissioner of Police, Port Police Command, Mrs. Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison said the police would ensure maintenance of the law, even as she noted that the law banning truck movement during the day had existed since 2012.

She maintained that government had the right and responsibility to protect citizens and the police would work in that line “with a human face”.

Deputy Chairman, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Tin-Can Island Chapter, Anthony Agbanose, accused the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) of chasing truck drivers on the highways, leading to accidents. He also blamed the incessant falling off of containers from moving trucks on the deplorable roads across the Lagos metropolis.

Earlier, Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi said the restriction of truck movement to nigh time by the Lagos State Government, which prompted the industrial action embarked upon by his members, is biased as it excludes tankers.

He said that the meeting would continue today (Thursday) after truck drivers stormed out of the meeting in annoyance.

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