Regardless of the usage of an digital call-up system to batch port-bound vans into the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports within the final two years, the mounting of checkpoints by safety personnel for the aim of accumulating unlawful charges from truckers has continued to threaten the benefit of doing enterprise on the ports.
The gathering of unlawful charges on the a number of checkpoints that exist alongside the port corridors is taking a toll on haulage enterprise and irritating the implementation of the digital call-up system.
It additionally hampers the benefit of doing enterprise on the ports as truckers waste man-hours because of the delays that typically add to the gridlock on the port roads and pressure importers to pay demurrage to the delivery firms and storage expenses to terminal operators for not taking supply of their consignments as and when due.
Richard Emenim, head of growth at Vans Transit Parks Ltd, the know-how agency that manages the Eto App, mentioned though the introduction of an digital call-up system has helped to ease the motion of vans on the port, unlawful assortment of charges from vans and truck house owners has remained a menace to ease of doing enterprise.
In accordance with him, imposing unlawful charges on truckers not solely ends in the sabotage of the call-up system by encouraging truckers to park indiscriminately at pre-gates and on port entry roads seeking terminal supply orders, but in addition put extra price on cargo house owners.
BusinessDay findings present that truckers are compelled to pay unlawful charges on the checkpoints on the Complete Bridge, Ijora-Olopa, Iganmu, Sifax, Space B, and others, and the safety operatives nonetheless acquire cash from vans with legitimate digital call-up tickets.
This impacts the technique of livelihood of haulage operators as many spend half of their earnings on paying their approach out and in of the port.
It additionally has a value implication on cargo house owners as cash spent by truckers on checkpoints is factored into the quantity charged as the price of haulage and threatens the soundness of the digital call-up methods for port-bound vans.
On his half, Tony Anakebe, managing director of the Gold Hyperlink Funding Ltd, a Lagos-based clearing and forwarding agency, mentioned though the variety of checkpoints alongside the Ijora-Iganmu and the Wharf axis has diminished within the final two years of utilizing the Eto call-up system, there’s nonetheless not less than three checkpoints alongside that hall the place truckers are compelled to half with cash earlier than they might be allowed into the ports, even with a legitimate digital call-up ticket.
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In accordance with him, the Mile 2-Second Gate axis has remained very difficult as there are nonetheless plenty of checkpoints mounted by safety personnel, space boys, and native authorities officers.
“Regardless of its attendant affect on the price and ease of doing enterprise on the port, there isn’t any approach mounting of checkpoints will cease inside the port hall as a result of the authorities haven’t queried these behind them,” mentioned Anakebe.
He, nevertheless, mentioned the cash spent on checkpoints has diminished to about N5,000-N10,000 per journey in comparison with the N80,000-N100,000 truckers used to pay per journey to realize entry into the port previous to the introduction of the Eto call-up system.
Remi Ogungbemi, chairman of the Affiliation Maritime Truck Homeowners, mentioned extortion by safety personnel has turn into “a parasite that eats up the proceeds of truckers”.
To him, totally different teams of individuals come up beneath totally different disguises claiming they’ve both state or federal governments’ approval to cease vans on the way in which to gather charges from them.
“We’ve got Customs within the port that examines cargo. It’s after these cargoes have been inspected and launched that truckers are referred to as to come back and elevate the container. To our best shock, we see Customs officers mount checkpoints just a few meters from the port gate and so they intercept vans with containers. We’ve got over 100 vans which can be littered within the Customs instructions,” he mentioned.
Whereas commending the trouble of the Port Job Crew arrange by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in exposing these behind the extortion of truckers alongside the port corridors, Ogungbemi added that every one arms should be on deck to remove extortion from the port.