The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has recorded a final victory in its battle with truckers unions over standardisation of trucks coming into Lagos ports. At the onset of the face-off, the truck owners had vowed not to pay the mandatory N10,000 Electronic Sticker Permit fee being collected by the NPA.
But yesterday, the Vice Chairman of Dry Cargo section of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO); Alhaji Inuwa Muhammed said that the truckers have no option than to pay the fees.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that at the flag-off of the enforcement on March 31, 2016, the General Manager in charge of Western Port of the NPA; Chief Michael Ajayi had insisted that there was no going back on enforcement and that any truck that is not certified cannot enter either Apapa port or Tin Can Island port.
But, while speaking on Shipping Position Live on Star FM yesterday, Alhaji Inuwa Muhammed who also doubles as the chairman, Coalition of Ports Dry Cargo Transport Operators advised that truck owners who have businesses at the ports have to comply with the directive of the NPA, since it is for ‘’safety , standard and security.
‘’ Speaking on behalf of the various truckers’ unions via the telephone, he acknowledged that the unions cannot challenge or fight the government, hence there is need to comply. Asked to react to the presence of rickety trucks on the two approaches to Lagos ports, Inuwa insisted ted that, “the safety department of the NPA is supposed to be held responsible for rickety trucks seen with the NPA stickers”.
On the allegation that some truck owners are already engaged in cloning of the stickers, he argued that the suspected cloned stickers might have happened through compromise by NPA safety and security officials. But the NARTO chieftain’s statement coincided with a disclosure by the NPA that it is putting measures in place to ensure effective automation as far as the activities of truckers are involved. The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it has already commenced collation of a database system for all trucks that have been certified to do business in the nation’s seaports.
The General Manager, Western Ports, NPA made this known last week during an exclusive chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos. Chief Ajayi stressed that despite the on-going certification of trucks, the agency is working assiduously to ensure that automation embarked upon, adding that all stickers must be scanned before accessing the ports.
The General Manager further disclosed that the ICT department of the NPA has taken over the automation process to be effected on trucks, noting that the name of the driver of any particular vehicle, the trucks chassis number as well as model of the truck will be captured. “Even though the truck has no sticker, we can tell you if it is registered or not” He also mentioned that in the next 30 days, the database for certified vehicles operating at the ports will be active.
“I am using this medium to warn them that much as we are trying to make sure that our system is not compromised, we are also standing to ensure that we stick to the policy of the Managing Director of NPA who instituted this, because this is his dream. ” “We will ensure that trucks operating at the ports are of standard in line with the MD’s dream. ”