The Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tincan II, Ijora, Mr. Olufemi Abiodun Olabanji has raised an alarm over activities of the Nigerian Army officials who he claims now run full blown trucking business using Army trucks at the detriment of the truckers operating at the Lagos ports.
Olabanji who raised an alarm in a chat with newsmen in Lagos observed that the Army trucks had turned to container carriers just as Army officials had equally turned to truck drivers.
He maintained that if there was no more work for Army officers to do in the Barracks, the Authorities should take them to a place where they could give them more training and not for them to be driving trucks and be entering the ports to carry containers.
He said, “If you are a Soldier, you go to face Soldier work not to carry container, these people are converting to container carriers.”
When reminded that the Nigerian Army also has a logistics department and that it could be possible that the trucks were at the ports to take consignment meant for the Nigerian Army, he said, “If that is the system, it is a good system. If there is a Haulage Department in the Military that they use to carry their goods, there is no problem with that but not for them to use their trucks for commercial use in the ports. I am not saying that they should come and hire my truck but let the truckers who trucking is their only means of livelihood do their business. They are collecting salaries, with this business they are doing now, will it form part of the revenue due to the government? Are they paying revenue to Nigeria?
“If their Logistics Department is earning revenue for government because government is paying them salary, let us know. It will even be better if EFCC visits them so that we can ascertain for a fact if their business is a legitimate one, if their logistics department is engaging in commercial business in the port because with this trend, they have taken away business from the truckers.”
On whether he has evidence to prove his allegations, Olabanji retorted, “Even yourself know that when a Military truck is coming, they will give it easy access to the ports. Have you seen military truck on the queue? You won’t see them on the queue, they pass one way. Even the so called Generals who are now truck owners, they don’t queue on the line, they just pass one way. They give them preferential treatment.
“I don’t need to show you evidence, go to the road and see the evidence, ask people. What evidence do I need to show you? Go to the road and see the evidence. I am not complaining about anything but they should allow people to do their business. All of us cannot become powerful persons. All the Generals have turned to truck owners.”
He therefore called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai to as a matter of urgency look into the activities of his officers and men in Lagos with the intent to stem the tide.
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