Multi-Trade Nigeria Limited, has entered into partnership with the leadership of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), to provide 2,000 new trucks to enable the truck owners replace their rickety ones with which they presently ply the nation’s roads.
The partnership which has resulted in the importation of the first batch of the trucks for the association’s members on hire purchase, will also see the drivers moving to its new 5,000-truck holding bay, located within the International Trade Fair Complex, along Lagos – Badagry expressway.
Speaking in Apapa, Lagos, chairman of AMATO, Mr. Remi Ogungbemi, expressed happiness with the development which they believe will improve their business.
Ogungbemi said the development of the new holding bay will help solve the problem of parking space created after the concession of the nation’s port terminal. According to him, the most challenging problem confronting the truck operators has been the dearth of modern truck terminals, since the era of ports reform.
He however noted that the agency that carried out the reforms did not carry the truck operators along, thus most of the places designated as truck-terminals were taken over without providing alternatives.
“The concessionaires barricaded the places given to them making it extremely impossible for trucks to manoeuvre to where they have been assigned to load. Trucks must come from somewhere and cannot operate in the air,” he noted.
He also explained that improved profitability and need for professionalism within the haulage sub-sector of the nation’s import industry is a driving force for the partnership.
According to him, “We have started working on how to bring professionalism into trucking business in maritime industry. We are trying to improve our standards, improve our operations and improve our language.”
Also speaking on the issue, Consultant to AMATO-Managing Director of Melno-CEO and partners, Chris Orode, said the movement of the trucks from the port environment in line with government directive, is part of measures to meet the 90 day ultimatum regarding the International Ships and Ports (Facilities) Code (ISPS).
Orode expressed optimism that government will meet the requirements of the ISPS code before the expiration of the ultimatum.