The Coordinator of the Tincan Island Ports Transport Operators (TIPTO), Mr. Sylvester Keshiro has lamented the challenges thrown up by the electronic call up system popularly known as e-call up introduced recently by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to arrest the traffic situation in Apapa and its environ.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos recently, Keshiro stated that they had discovered that the call up system was fraudulent as some of the garages where they were forced to go to were charging them ten thousand naira (N10,000) per parking while some of them, after a day and the road was not clear for you to go and load, would ask you to pay another sixteen thousand naira (N16,000) which they would automatically deduct from your Eto Wallet.
He pointed out that while NPA no longer want empty containers to be brought to the port, it has equally refused to go and inspect the holding bays that the shipping lines claim that they have with the stakeholders as according to him, NPA management knows that such holding bays were non-existent.
“We should go and see whether there is a functional holding bay. A holding bay you go to and there is no forklift to offload, a holding bay you go to, you have about twenty trucks there waiting to discharge their empty containers but there is chance for only five containers. A holding bay you will go and they will ask you to pay one hundred and eighty thousand naira (N180,000) to return empty container.
“Holding bay in the olden days when things are okay, you don’t pay Kobo except you tip the forklift operators but now, in some holding bays, they are charging seventy thousand naira (N70,000) and some charge one hundred and thirty thousand naira (N130,000), some one hundred and eighty thousand naira (N180,000) while some others even charge two hundred thousand naira (N200,000). Even in that holding bay, they will ask you to first of all meet somebody who is a commissioned agent who will in turn take your number to operation officers there and he will end up collecting about twenty thousand naira (N20,000). Add it up to seventy thousand naira. Those are the fraudulent areas there.
“You see, these people are milking us; they don’t want us to do business again. When they send young people out of business, they will join the bandits because if they don’t die, they will eat. This is international port without five thousand trucks Capacity Park while in other developed countries; you see a state have about five thousand trucks Capacity Park. So, they have failed us and it is just a pity. The Nigerian Ports Authority is not having foresight, every area in the port has been leased out, there is no room for development. There is no way there can be orderliness in the port because there is no way to develop. There is no space, we are choked.
“And the holding bay, immediately you line up there, LASTMA will come and tow your vehicle and they will term it abandoned vehicle. Go to LASTMA office in Ojota, about 150 trucks are there and no date has been given to the owners to come and collect them. Is that the way the economy of the country will grow?” he queried.
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