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NARTO: Members protest, cry to Lagos Govt over extortions by enforcement Agency



NARTO: Members protest, cry to Lagos Govt over extortions by enfforcement Agency
NARTO: Members protest, cry to Lagos Govt over extortions by enfforcement Agency

Comrade Prince, NARTO, Chairman Lagos State Task Force

… As Activists In Tincan Port Indict NPA, Law Enforcement Agency, Over extortions of Truck Owners!***

In a protest at the Government House in Alausa Ikeja on Wednesday, 30th of June 2021 by the Task- Force Committee of Nigeria Association Of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and its members, registered their grievances with Lagos State Government, over an alleged indiscriminate extortion of their members by government agency.

It would be recalled that the Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko recently took same issue of alarming extortion up, with the Lagos-State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu last month.

Chairman Lagos State Task Force, Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners, Comrade Prince Hassan Adekoya and the Association members expressed their displeasure particularly, to journalists as the spate of illegal extortions had become unbearable.

Hassan Adekoya in a press interview said it was no longer going well for them and the owners of the trucks. They were tired of paying law enforcement officers outrageous bills before carrying out their legitimate activities.

The protesters call on Lagos State Government for a review of the unfriendly policies meted on them by the handlers of the trucking activities in Apapa and Tincan axis.

“We are here to draw the attention of our father President Buhari and also to call on the smartest Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu over the situation in Apapa.

“It is no longer going well for us and the truck owners, the ways and manners of operation around Apapa axis. We have several enforcement team that extort our members, they hijack our truck unlawfully. They slam us outrageous bills ranging from two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand naira. It takes us 3 months for our export trucks to access the port. All of these, we are tired.

“We are tired of NPA and their policies. All their policies are not going too well for the industry. We need a review over the terminals, terminal owners, NPA, ETO &TTP review. We are tired”, he said.

“Mr Governor has done his best, the enforcement team is nothing to write home about. They are not serving the state, they are not serving the nation. By now, extortion has been legalised in Apapa daily. Extortion takes place in almost all the checking points. We are suppose to go in with ETO/TTP app for 10,000 naira. At the moment, it had been increased to 20,000 and 30,000 naira.

Also read: Shippers’ Council seals APMDC over non- compliance with regulatory directives, arbitrary charges

“These are not just mere allegations, all our affected members have proofs. Some team called them “abandoned team” come over during the night and hijack our trucks, they take it over, charge us high, we need to know who is behind the abandonment, looting spree. We need to know what their duties are, we need to review all of the policies”, he said.

Comrade Adekoya said the fundamental causes of inflation in the country can be attributed to these alleged immoral activities by NPA, law enforcement agents and APMT who are in charge of the terminals.

“The 200,000 and 300,000 we paid are in cash which are not even remitted to government’s purse. That is why you have to buy everything high on the street because of the ripple effect of the immoral acts”

One of the protesters Collins, a truck owner also a driver said the ETO online queuing system software is perfectly good and the workers of the software are good too. He however stressed that since they are under NPA who designed the software back end, they are not working optimally.

“NPA has decided to frustrate the activities of transporters, exporters, importers and everybody operating within the port of the federation. The port in Apapa, the port in Tincan axis, they have decided to frustrate us and they have achieved that technically.

“They brought a software known as ETO (Queuing system software). The software is perfectly good and the workers of the software are very very good. They are doing their best. But since they are under NPA, they are not operating optimally. They take instructions from NPA and NPA has been frustrating this business for a very long time.

“NPA woke up one morning and decided to shut down the portal for exporting. They told us plainly that export truck is not going to enter the port. They did it two times. First time 2 weeks and the second time was 3 weeks. They told us we are not going to export our commodities in this country.

“The terminal operators are not also helping matters. They are killing the business. APMT in charge of the terminals can wake up one morning and tell us they can’t accept export containers in this country. You see so many drivers are being frustrated in the line. You know the worst part, when you are frustrated in the line, you can’t even go anywhere.

Some of the NARTO members displaying placards, during the peaceful protest in Lagos

“You see a team called abandon team, they come to tow our truck and call it abandoned truck having frustrated the drivers on the queue. They slam us with fine about 300,000 to 400,000 naira after frustrating us deliberately”. Collins said

“If you ask them who is in charge of this abandon narratives, nobody will give you a direct answer. Ask any driver driving a container truck about their experience, just go their and make your own findings, everybody is frustrated in Apapa.

“The government should set up a wider stakeholders that would encompass the transporters, importers, exporters, the custom license agents, and the terminal operators, we have to sit on a round table and talk this out”. He opined.

Chairman Apapa unit of Narto, Comrade Wale Oladehinde also added his voice and said the reason for the protest was to let the government know what they are passing through for several months within Apapa and Tinker axis.

“If ETO’s app refuses to grant truck access to the port, thereby occupying some spaces because it didn’t move, this committee would say the truck was abandoned, the team will then slam us with an outrageous fine.

“We want Lagos state government to come to our aid to put a stop to all these illegal extortion of our members, to stop all these illegal towing of our trucks in the name of abandoned. We want the government to come sanitize Apapa and Tinkan axis.

“We appreciate the effort of Lagos state governor in making Apapa axis free from traffic gridlock, some people sent by the government are sabotaging government’s strides because of their own selfishness, because of what they want to gain”. Oladehinde asserts.

Vice chairman Lagos State NARTO chapter Mr Ibrahim Lawal alluded to the alleged illegitimate extortion of truckers in an interview with the press.

He said the Governor who deployed law enforcement officers to Tincan and Apapa axis is not aware of their atrocities hence the reason for staging this protest to keep the government informed about these atrocities so they can nip it in the bud through stakeholders dialogue.

The Director in charge of complaints and protests in the Office of the Civic Engagements, Mr Obey Kolawole received the hard copy of the agitations of NARTO on behalf of the state governor and said NARTO’s previous letters addressed to Lagos state government will be reviewed and revisited.





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MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People’s Love for Selfless Service



MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People's Love for Selfless Service

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has congratulated His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on his re-election as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.

 President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju felicitated with the governor, noting that Sanwo-Olu’s victory is well deserved, following his focused selfless service.

According to the President General, the victory is a clear testimony of the love showered on the governor as the Chief Executive of the state by the people of Lagos State.

Prince Adeyanju promised the commitment of the union to making the seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

In his words: “The Lagos State election which was keenly contested for, left Governor Sanwo-Olu winning the election on a very wide margin; this which gave him an edge over other contestants was a clear testimony of love showered on him as the Chief Executive of the state by the people.

“We in the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria wish to felicitate with the amiable Lagos State Governor on his well-deserved victory during the poll in the state. The President-General of the Union, Comrade Adeyanju has promised the Governor of the Union’s commitment towards making the nation’s seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

“On behalf of my executives, I wish to express our profound readiness to work and synergies with the Governor in all areas of the Maritime Industry towards achieving the best of economic values for the state and the nation at large. On this note, we say congratulation, Governor Sanwo-Olu!”

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Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters



Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters

 Gov. of Ademola Adeleke of Osun has congratulated his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, on his re-election in the March 18 governorship poll.

He gave the congratulatory message in a statement on Monday in Osogbo.

He described the outcome of the election as a strong vote of confidence in the performance of Makinde in the last four years.

He added that “I congratulate my brother, Governor Seyi Makinde on his re-election at the polls.

“Residents of Oyo State have reaffirmed their faith and confidence in his performance.

“They have confirmed the rapid development of Oyo State under the able leadership of my brother, Seyi Makinde.

“On behalf of the people and government of Osun State, I extend warm felicitation to Gov. Makinde.

“I look forward to years of partnership and collaboration between our two states on inter-state infrastructure development, among others.”

Adeleke also described Oyo and Osun states as siamese twins, calling for closer partnership in economic and social affairs.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday declared Makinde the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State.

Makinde had 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 256,685 votes.

In a related development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Oyo State, Sen. Teslim Folarin, has congratulated Gov. Seyi Makinde on his victory in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

Folarin’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.

 Makinde, of People Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after polling 568,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Folarin who scored 256,685.

Folarin, while congratulating Makinde, expressed appreciation to the electorate in the state for their support to APC candidates in the just-concluded general elections.

He also expressed gratitude to God for preserving the lives of the people throughout the electioneering process and to his friends and political allies for their overwhelming support.

He commended members of the 2023 Oyo State APC Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council for their issue-based campaigns, loyalty, dedication and commitment to the struggle.

“My gratitude also goes to the coalition parties, candidates of other political parties, volunteers, the press and individuals that contributed to the ‘Itesiwaju Ipinle Oyo 2023’ project,” he said.

The APC governorship candidate, however, appealed to party members and support groups to remain calm, as the results of the election were being studied.

“It is God that gives and takes power. May Oyo State and our people continue to prosper,” he said.

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Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations



Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations

Four maritime women associations which jointly organized a summit where they canvassed for gender parity in the maritime sector and encouraged more women’s contributions to technological advancement in the digital space have agreed to form a single association to advance their cause.

The four associations are: Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigerian chapter, Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), Nigerian chapter and Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN).

The summit, which was part of activities to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), was anchored on the IWD 2023 theme; ‘Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’.

Speaking at the event, the WISTA-Nigeria President, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke noted that as separate groups their impact have been fragmented while they have also been unable to get requisite support from the federal government in attending crucial regional and international conferences.

Her words: “One of the high points for the collaboration was the inability to get financial support especially in attending international conferences. It is at global meetings that we can network with other women and major global operators. When one intends to contest for regional or international positions, one would need to know women in maritime in other countries to get their buy-in. The federal government hasn’t been giving us the support to attend international conferences.”

“We explained this to the Permanent Secretary of the Transport Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani at a recent meeting and it was at that point she informed us that there has been no budgetary provision for women at the Ministry for some years. She encouraged us to start sourcing funds. We, however, have examples of other African countries where the women were backed fully for these activities.”

Stressing that government support mustn’t always be financial support, Ezeoke stated that there could be a sort of moral support by recognizing women groups among stakeholders such that shipping companies, terminal operators, NLNG, and oil firms are inclined to take up the financial support to enable women achieve the advocacy dreams.

In her own submission, the President of WIMOWCA Nigeria, Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore opined that the removal of women budgetary provisions from the Transport Ministry underscored the Importance of getting more women into key leadership positions where such decisions are taken.

Edodo-Emore, who is also Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, expressed delight at the utilizing of technology to address the challenges of artisanal fishers who get better fees for their products and are better equipped to preserve them on account of several innovations.

“With this partnership, women are better placed to access funding for women’s education and training. We are all excited and we believe that we are set to begin reaping the benefits of this partnership. As regards fishing, it’s important that we bring technology into the fishing industry.

“The process of catching the fishes, preservation, storage, among other processes have evolved with technology. We need to sensitize and equip the industry, especially artisanal fishers,” she said.

Speaking, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President of WIMA Nigeria, said that success has no gender even as she encouraged women to seek to be the best at what they do such that it becomes difficult to be marginalized.

“When you strive to bring out your value and worth by your doggedness, innovation, skills and humility; at this point, if you’re being marginalized there is something to shout and fight about. Nevertheless, a lot of organizations have an unwritten law or position that prevented women from rising to Directors or head of the agency. At such organizations, we have observed that gradually women have been emerging as Directors, heads of units and sometimes head of the agency. It is a gradual process and it will keep getting better,” Macfoy said.

She was optimistic that with the Women in Maritime Network operating, by the end of the year, women will make strides like the force of gravity as more women will also be given a voice and attention.

A cadet under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), Ms Peace Moulders, said that innovation and technology would play a critical role in addressing the world challenges from climate change to healthcare and others.

Moulders, however, stressed that it is not enough to simply wait for the technology to emerge, advising women to actively embrace and promote them to drive positive change.

“A call for action for individuals and organisations is to foster a culture of innovation by encouraging risk-taking, investing in research and development, promoting ethical considerations and advocating for policy changes. Government and organisation should remove barriers to innovation because by embracing them there would be a better future for the girls, and communities,” she said.

Other participants at the event are the Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; Head of Nigerian Ship Registry at NIMASA, Mrs. Nneka Obianyor; Treasurer, WISTA Nigeria and Deputy Director, Revenue at NIMASA, Dr. (Mrs) Odunayo Ani; among others.

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