Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Western Ports over the weekend alerted that it has arrested over 100 trucks carrying forged registration stickers. The trucks were deemed to have fraudulently flouted the trucks standardisation exercise which was flagged off in March by NPA.
The flag off which was postponed twice from the 1st of March to 21st March 2016 and from the 21st of March to 31st of March 2016 was said to be at the instance of the truck owners who pleaded for more time to enable them put their trucks in order.
Recall that the Coalition of Port Dry Cargo Transport Operators (CPDCTO), which is a conglomeration of more than five trucking associations after series of peaceful protests against the N10, 000 entry permit sticker, withdrew their service for some hours on 21st of March but later called off the action when it saw that the NPA was not going ahead with the enforcement earlier scheduled for that day.
The flag off proper which began with the inspection of two of the registered trucks assembled at the Lagos Port Complex gate by the Managing Director of the NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi witnessed large turnout of Policemen, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials, Vehicle Inspection Officers, NPA Security and some maritime stakeholders. Since then the registration has been ongoing with the NPA certifying more than 12,000 trucks.
Speaking to SHIPS &PORTS DAILY, General Manager, Western Ports of the NPA, Chief Michael Ajayi said, “I can assure you that we have arrested over 100 trucks with fake stickers. As I speak with you now, about four people were arrested and were remanded in prison custody. Every day we arrest and of course we are prosecuting them because if we don’t do that; it will not serve as deterrent to others.”
Also giving the actual number of certified trucks, he told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, “So far we have registered over 12,500 vehicles and if you see rickety vehicles carrying our stickers, I assure you that they are fake stickers. These are criminals that want to sabotage our effort and make it look as if we still allow rickety vehicles into the port. We don’t!” he affirmed.
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