It is the best thing that can ever happen to truck operations. What NPA is doing is setting a minimum standard of trucks. We are all suffering from breakdown of trucks on the road every day. Your consignment leaves the port and within 500 meters it breaks down causing traffic congestion and even the consignee risk losing some of his goods because before they will get someone to fix the vehicle, miscreants will come and empty the container. This notice actually came from NPA around the middle of last year and the transporters came together to ask for an extended time so that they can put their vehicle in order. NPA is not telling them to go and buy new vehicles, there are certain prerequisites a truck operating in the port must have such as head light, break and others must work and be in good condition. The truckers are so interested in money that they don’t want to set one or two days aside to take their vehicles to proper workshop to get the parts fixed. The best thing NPA has done is what they have just done, let the truck owners go and put their trucks in order. I don’t think that is difficult, it is just like you own your car, at intervals, you service, change the tyres and the rest, these are things they should know. The truckers charge as much as N65,000 to carry a forty foot container from the port to town, so what stops them from taking part of that money and repair the vehicle that is giving them money?
Yes I agree with NPA to enforce minimum standard of trucks because if you look at the trucks plying our roads on a daily basis, some of them live much to be desired. If you take a close look at trucks plying our roads, a lot of them are not in good condition, some have their engines tied with ropes, some of them don’t have good break, their tyres worn out and this cause accidents. The truck owners should try and acquire fairly good trucks and constantly make some repairs on the old ones they have to be of standard. That way, accidents will be reduced. I support NPA for introducing such measures but the main issue is enforcement because that is part of the problem we have in Nigeria, every good intention will always be thwarted by a group of people. While they may not achieve a 100 percent success, I believe with this new measure, there will be a reduction in the number of rickety trucks plying our roads.
It is an accepted standard in the world, it is encouraged and it is something we all expect and look forward to because if we want to be professional in our field of operations, these things need to be organized. For me it is an acceptable idea, they should be encouraged and be given the necessary support they need because some of the trucks we hire to carry cargo is a death trap and we all know it but because there is no regulation that’s why it has continued for so long. Now that NPA has come up with the idea of trucks being up to standard and that they should be registered and monitored, I think that will help eliminate the loss of cargo. It is accepted and encouraged because it will also help reduce traffic gridlock. As agents too, we should also give NPA the necessary support to achieve this by not patronizing any of the trucks not certified by NPA.
It is a good step in the right direction. For example, some time in Lagos State, we used to have molue littered everywhere on the road but today you don’t see it because the State government said it does not want it because it was an eyesore to the city. If NPA is then looking at setting standards, it is a welcome idea. They should look at how to set a module in the sense of empowering some companies or engaging big companies to bring quality trucks that are up to date. If NPA bring in companies that can afford it, then people whose trucks are of standard will join while those whose trucks are not good will be off the way. Of course, no agent will see a good truck and decide to go for the bad one. If there are new trucks moving these goods, there would be no diversion of goods, there won’t be breaking down of vehicles on the road. The truck owners just have to fall in line, it is like a game, if you can play you join if you can’t, you leave.
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