By Godfrey Bivbere
THE Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, is getting set for a clamp down on those allegedly sabotaging the electronic truck call-up (e-call-up) system.
The e-call-up is a new innovation introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to control trucks related congestion at the Apapa ports access roads.
Barely one month after the introduction the NSC disclosed, yesterday, that there is a push back by some vested interests against the system because it affecting their illegal benefits.
Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the NSC, Hassan Bello, in an exclusive interview with Vanguard Maritime Report, called on all maritime stakeholders to support NPA to make the system successful.
He noted that the e-call-up system has started working and has been functional, stressing that these developments can only be sustained if there is strict compliance to the system.
Bello said that there are some people who do not want the system to work because of the benefits they gain from the chaos.
He stated: “They are responsible for the pushback that we are experiencing. Shippers Council, NPA, others, as the lead agencies for port operations, we will work very hard to ensure that these saboteurs are exposed and brought to book.
“Compliance is very important. It is important that the terminal operators and the truckers come together to make sure that there’s substantial compliance to the e-call-up system. The system has started working and if we comply, there will be a dramatic reduction in the gridlock. Already there are signs to show that the system is working”.
While responding to the issue of saboteurs possessing fake e-call-up letters, Bello noted that some of these problems are bound to happen due to the fact that the system is a new one.
In his words, “You will hear all sorts of things but what is important is that this is a new system. There could be some teething problems which are expected. But they are only part of the sabotage. The Shippers Council is warning those responsible for the pushback that they would not go unpunished.”
He denied that it is not true that some truckers have been favoured over others. He said the Shippers Council is part of the e-call-up system process and there is no way truckers will be favoured.
“But we always have complaints from those who want to bring chaos into the system. They are used to the old ways of doing things. NPA is trying to sanitise the whole system; so you expect some people to grumble. I have worked and talked with genuine truckers who have welcomed this development and they should just have patience; all those issues will clear away very soon” he concluded.