As the deadline for the enforcement of minimum standard of trucks doing business at the Lagos seaport elapsed yesterday, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has maintained that there is going back in full implementation of the policy.
It would be recalled that NPA had in March 1st extended the deadline for the registration by three weeks after the February 29 deadline.
This, according to the General Manager, Western Ports of NPA, Chief Michael Ajayi was at the request of the truck owners who pleaded for the extension to enable them put their trucks in order to meet the required standard.
However, despite the extension, there have been series of protests by some group of truck drivers and customs agents over introduction of an annual N10, 000 vehicle entry permit by the ports authority.
Speaking in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday, Ajayi said NPA had already commenced implementation of the minimum standards.
He said, “We have started implementation today (yesterday) and no rickety trucks can come to the port now and if we see any we will turn it back.”
He said NPA’s Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdulahi will flag off of the exercise at a later date before the end of the month.
According to a list released yesterday by NPA, no fewer than 16 large fleet operators have complied with the minimum standards introduced by the port authority and have also paid the N10,000 entry permit, while another 16 operators were under processing.
The complaint large fleet operators include Sifax, Al-Hadiat, Pika, Westone, Thasious, Range, Pacific, Total LDG, Hydrodive and Aljahi Afolabi.
The others are Red Line Logistics, Hassanien Limited, Chalie Mac, Sino Cargo, Thom-Lee and Africa Logistics.
The 16 companies who were still processing their compliance include Ajuba Nigeria, Buildwell Plant and Equipment, Kam Nigeria Limited, Dodgester, Classic Marine, Musa Haruna, Universal Value, ENL, Total Logistics, J.O. Universal Concept, GMT Logistics and Limtob Global Ventures. The others are Dangote, Banarly, Ganiyu Adewale and Saro Transcontinental.
Meanwhile, a set of truck operators under the aegis of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) and Coalition of Port Dry Cargo Transport yesterday withdrew their services from the ports in Lagos in protest of the N10, 000 truck entry permit charge.
Chairman of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that his members were not against the implementation of minimum standard of trucks but the N10,000 fee.
He said, “NPA said any truck owner that has not paid the 10,000 should not enter the port. Our members are skeptical about what NPA wants to do with the fee.
“We are keying into the implementation of the minimum standard but the contention is the N10, 000. What do they want to do with the N10,000? Does it mean that any truck that pay the fee is qualified to enter the port?
“This issue concerns every truck owner irrespective of their association. So we have also withdrawn our service and that is the official position.”
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