By Godwin Oritse
TRUCK owners and drivers under the aegis of Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMATO, have said that the Apapa-TinCan port corridor has become the most notorious harbour for extortion.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting hosted by Convention on Business Integrity, CBI, in collaboration with Maritime Anti-Corruption Network MACN, AMATO’s Secretary, Mr. Mohammed Sanni, said that the multiple illegal checkpoints on the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports roads in Lagos, has become a channel of organized impunity, official lawlessness and excesses that is defying the authority of Government both states and federal.
Sanni stated, “There are over 30 illegal checkpoints existing within the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Port corridor where truckers are compelled to pay between N50,000 and N60,000 per trip to access the port, despite having valid electronic call-up tickets.
“The myriad of illegal checkpoints on the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports roads in Lagos, have become a channel of organized impunity, official lawlessness and excesses that is defying the governments.
“Existence of multiple checkpoints in the ports corridor is among the major cancer eating away the proceeds of truckers and undermining growth and progress of the transport sector in the maritime industry. “It is the root cause of why trucks are looking rickety due to damaging activities of traffic enforcement, security agencies and transport union and local government hoodlums.
“The Apapa and Tincan ports corridors have become a notorious haven of corruption and extortion by State and Non-state Actors.
“As a result of multiple checkpoints, we no longer have security along the ports roads because the priority of security men is to extort money from truckers.
“On same roads with presence of security operatives, containers are being burgled and hijacked. On same roads, hoodlums are extorting and robbing truck drivers. “On the bridges manned by the security personnel, the bridge light cables installed by the federal government to light up the bridges at night for security have all been stolen by scavengers.”