Truckers under the aegis of the Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA) have called for the unbundling of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) electronic call-up system popularly called eto over persistent extortion along the ports access roads.
Speaking in Lagos on Thursday during the association’s delegate convention, COMTUA president, Thompson Olaleye, said that if another company is saddled to handle the Tin-Can section of the ports while the Trucks Transit Park (TTP), operators of the eto app focuses on Apapa, the issue of extortion and other vices undermining the efficiency of the call-up system will be addressed.
Olaleye also decried unbridled extortion by unions and security officials on the ports access roads.
He said, “Two of the initial founding members of COMTUA have pulled out over selfish decisions. These two groups decided to leave COMTUA because we agreed that no association should be collecting money along the ports access roads again.
“The aggrieved groups, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) rejected our decision to stop the collection of money along the ports access roads. They said it is a major means through which they get revenue to fund their operations.
“After fruitless efforts to make them see reason, they have left COMTUA and as I speak to you, their members are on the roads between Mile 2 and Tin-Can, collecting money from truckers.
“However, three new associations have joined COMTUA. We have the Logistics Practitioners Association of Nigeria (LPAN), Young Truck Owners Association and some corporate bodies of truckers including Dangote, BUA and Flour Mills amongst others.
“The issue of extortion along the ports access roads is a major reason why the NPA e-call-up system needs to be unbundled. It seems the entire space is too big for the e-call-up manager, the TTP to manage. If another company is allowed to handle Tin Can while TTP focuses on Apapa, the issue of extortion and other discrepancies won’t exist.
“If there is competition, the managers of the TTP will deliver in a better way. Imagine, from Mike 2 down to Tin Can, there is nothing like a central control system where anybody is checking truckers documents or papers. Rather, what you will see are illegal checkpoints mounted by some associations that have pulled out of COMTUA, collecting different monies from port users.”
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