*Beg govt to flush out extortionists on ports access roads
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Leaders of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, a weekend in Lagos, blamed the worsening gridlock along the Port’s access roads on illegal toll points and collectors.
MWUN and NARTO during the signing of a memorandum of understanding, MOU, and meeting to synergize and collaborate on a basis of common desire to ensure a seamless environment to do business in the Maritime Sub Sector of the nation’s economy, pleaded with the Federal Government to flush extortionists and illegal toll collectors, especially from the Mile 2 end of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.
At a joint briefing, President-General MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju and National President of NARTO, Alhaji Lawal Othman, called on the government to empower the Port Standing Task Team, PSTT, to sanitize the ports access roads against illegal extortionists.
According to them, among others, “We wish to draw the attention of the general public to the decision of the leadership of both the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to synergize and collaborate on a basis of common desire to ensure seamless environment to do business in the Maritime Sub Sector of the nation’s economy.
“The “collaboration” was birthed as a vehicle to take decisions on behalf of its combined membership to stem the negative gridlock which invariably affects our way and means of doing business in the quay aprons, terminals and jetties and as well as inculcate in the psyche of our members the necessity to observe all the road regulations on our port access roads for ease of road movement and the amelioration of unnecessary hold ups.
“We wish to further inform the general public that as a “Collaboration” we do our business according to the dictates of the law and in conformity to extant regulations which prescribes our business modus operandi. Unfortunately, we have it on good authority that some unknown individuals in an apparent selfish move have disregarded these prescribed processes and proceeded to erect illegal collection/operation points along port access roads, thus extortion, harassments, and intimidations mar the very peaceful processes which we seek to put in place, at the instance of enrichment of private pockets which revenue ordinarily ought to go into government coffers.
“On this note and in yearning calls from our members and stakeholders for intervention, we are constrained to call on the Federal Government and all its agency(s), Regulator(s), security operatives, and concerned Nigerians to come to our aid in terms of firming and putting in place an effective procedure for curtailing and nipping in the bud these leakages. The “Port Standing Task Team” (PSTT) is doing a great job but still need to be empowered to do more to completely sanitize the ports access roads against illegal extortionists. We wish to appeal for necessary action.”