By Godwin Oritse
TRUCK owners, under the aegis of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners AMATO, and the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, are currently on a collision course over some impounded trucks that attempted to circumvent the Electronic Call-Up system.
The leadership of AMATO has called on the NPA to urgently release all trucks impounded by the Lagos State Special Traffic and Enforcement Team.
The group said the impounded trucks had valid call-up tickets, a claim the NPA has debunked.
In a statement issued at the end of the stakeholders meeting, yesterday, held at the AMATO headquarters in Apapa, the truck owners alleged that there were irregularities and corruption in the NPA’s call-up system, noting that fake call-up tickets are currently in circulation.
It also expressed worry that this development may further truncate the newly introduced system.
The statement reads in part: “Arising from transport stakeholders meeting at the AMATO secretariat in Apapa, it was agreed that all members must desist from parking indiscriminately on the port access roads for sake of traffic sanity.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos State Government and Transit Truck Park, TTP, Limited, TPP, must investigate and take action on the reason some trucks, without valid call-up tickets, are gaining access into the ports faster than trucks with valid call-up tickets.
“Being the regulator of the Electronic Call-up system, the Nigerian Ports Authority ETO automation system, the Lagos State Government and TTP should ensure the unconditional release of all trucks with valid call-up tickets impounded by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA on the port access roads.
“There should be a formation of a delegate team to engage the Lagos State Government, NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council, on the unlawful towing of trucks, slamming of outrageous charges and securing the release of trucks with valid call-up tickets.”
Speaking to Vanguard, the Chairman of AMATO, Mr. Remi Ogungbemi said that a meeting was held on Tuesday adding that all relevant stakeholders were duly notified adding that some of its members have been directed to do a follow up on the letter sent.
Efforts to reach the NPA for comments were futile as text messages and phone calls put to Mr. Nasiru Ibrahim were not returned, neither did he respond to the messages.