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Truck operators cry over alleged extortions by LAPARMU operatives

By Ifeyinwa Obi

… says we pay up to N40,000 as settlement’

Truck operators in the     maritime sector, have again cried out to the federal government to check the excesses of the Lagos Ports Access Roads Monitoring Unit (LAPARMU), alleging their extortionary tendencies would wind the economy if allowed to continue.

The truck operators under the aegis of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) accused officials of the Lagos Ports Access Roads Monitoring Unit (LAPARMU) of making life difficult and unbearable for them.

The chairman of the association chief Remi  Ogungbemi who spoke to Vanguard on the issue, alleged that trucks belonging to his members are being  impounded by the LAPARMU officials for  flimsy excuse and are subsequently made to cough out between N30,000 and N40,000 without issuing receipts.

According to Ogungbemi, “they have become economic saboteurs, and by extension economy of the country   because they neither add value to  our welfare or remit such monies to the federal government. We are operating under hostile conditions, making it difficult for us  to break even in the business”.

He stated that LASTMA, officials also  stop trucks indiscriminately on Lagos roads for no offence, demanding for “indiscriminate charges” collected by persons who claim to be local government officials.

Ogungbemi revealed that as a way out, the companies involved in haulage business within Lagos have had cause to pay what he described as a “certain protection fee”, so that their trucks will not be stopped at every point.
Vanguard earlier had reported that indications are high that operatives of LAPARMU have not divested themselves of the shameful toga of corruption that they wear with obvious pride.

Vanguard  findings also  revealed that following assurances by then Transportation Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, that a new team of LAPARMU operatives would be put in place, as the crop  of this group of traffic warders has continue to  brazenly  display a high level of  corruption  before members of the public.

The minister’s assurances came in response to allegations of corruption raised by tank farm owners against the LAPARMU operatives.
LAPARMU, was formed in 2007 following the recommendations of a Federal Government panel that investigated causes of the perennial gridlock along the access roads of the Lagos ports in Apapa.

A multi-agency organ, LAPARMU comprises personnel of the Nigerian Navy (NN), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Security Department.

LAPARMU, according to the sponsors, is to assist in reducing traffic bottlenecks in Apapa, particularly along the Lagos ports access roads.


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