Chief Aderemi Ogungbemi, President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), said on Monday that the association would soon introduce a “call up system’’ to help to reduce Apapa gridlock.
Ogungbemi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the call up system was a temporary measure that permitted truck drivers to come to the port only when they were needed.
“The call up system is a temporary method. It will enable an agent to call a truck driver when needed to load goods.
“The truck drivers will no longer queue on the roads waiting to be called. The truck drivers can stay any where until they are called that there is consignment for them to carry.
“It is a temporary measure. When it is established, if you have no job, you do not have the right to be at the port environment,’’ he said.
The AMATO president said government had not allocated a site whether temporary or permanent for truck owners to relocate to, stressing that truck owners would continue to operate from the ports.
On their experiences during the gridlock on the roads to the ports, Ogungbemi said that it was difficult to quantify their losses because of the number of trucks that ply the routes daily.
“The amount of money lost cannot be easily ascertained.
“While the terrible gridlock lasted for about four weeks, a driver that loads daily can manage to load once or highest twice in a week,’’ he said.
Ogungbemi also said that corruption by security officials made business operation difficult for truck drivers.
“Every truck owner has to part with money to security officials before he can be allowed into the port to load goods.
“This is sad because a truck owner hardly makes a trip in a day,’’ the association president said.
However, the truck owners and divers of articulated vehicles agreed to evacuate their trucks from the highway as from Monday. (NAN)