…As NPA vows to implement minimum required standards on trucks entering ports
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) may soon engage the expertise of the Federal Road Safety Corps, and the Lagos State Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIO) in a bid to significantly reduce the rising wave of container laden trucks breakdown on the nation’s highways.
The Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Manager, Nasir Anas disclosed this on Wednesday at Apapa, Lagos, stressing that the Ports Authority was tired of seeing trucks pick up containers in ports, and merely dropping them on highways, instead of agreed warehouses.
“We will stop rickety looking trucks that do not meet the standard required of them, from entering the ports”, the Port Manager stated, explaining that the need to bring in the duo of FRSC and VIO was to ensure the entrenchment of professional counsel in the whole implementation exercise.
“We are worried that trucks come into the ports to pick consignments and they breakdown on roads. But, we at NPA are interested that you do not only pick from the ports but also take it safely, to the owners’ warehouse or end users conveniently.
“We are not happy seeing trucks breaking down on the roads every where around the country”, he highlighted, noting that the implementation of the minimum standard ought to have begun last year, but for the interventions and pleas from some critical stakeholders which pleaded that they needed more time to comply.
“We had set out to achieve full implementation last year, but along the line, we had request and complaints from critical stakeholders like the shipping companies, clearing agents, haulage companies who argued that they needed minimum time to comply and it was the last quarter of the year when importation is much.
“For the reasons listed, we collectively agreed that we will minimize full implementation of the policy to about five issues with the understanding that from 2015, we will make effort to ensure full implementation”, he further said, indicating that there would however, be no going back on the implementation, this year.
“The same complaint was given to us in the first quarter of 2014. We are not ready to listen to that anymore. We will turn a blind eye, because we need to encourage improvement in our haulage and logistics sector”, he reasoned, pointing out that what was needed was simply a merger by the operators in order to evolve a stronger and bigger haulage sub sector sector.
“We have argued so many times that truckers should consolidate or form consortium so that they can get loans from the banks. Because, if they make the sector an all comers affairs, it won’t move forward,” he argued.
He emphasized the importance of the professionals to the implementation, adding that they would ensure objectivity and neutrality of the authority.
“When this implementation commences, we will involve VIO, FRSC. They are the critical stakeholder and we realised that we have not engaged them but now, they must be carried along because they are the one expected to regulate the activities of the truckers and their trucks,” he concluded.